UBS CEO Hamers Splits COO Role, Appoints Transformation Officer

UBS Group AG is splitting the role of chief operating officer as it reviews the function and how the bank allocates costs and investments across its business units.

Sabine Keller-Busse will continue to lead strategy in addition to her new role running UBS’s Swiss division, and she’ll represent the COO function on the executive board, according to a memo that was confirmed by a spokesperson. Mike Dargan, the head of technology, will take on the operational side and lead day-to-day management. Both roles are temporary until a review of the COO function and the corporate-cost structure is completed.

The COO position is critical for new Chief Executive Officer Ralph Hamers because it oversees the bank’s information technology, an area he prioritized in his former role as head of ING Groep NV and which he is expected to focus on at UBS as well. The Swiss wealth manager has been looking for ways to reduce cost as competition for rich clients intensifies.

Hamers also appointed Chris Gelvin as chief transformation officer, in addition to his role as head of group operations, according to the memo.

Hamers has said he was still undecided on how he would want to change the cost structure and that is why he hasn’t appointed a permanent COO.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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