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UBS & HSBC CEO hunts take shape

UBS & HSBC CEO hunts take shape

(21 February 2020 – Europe) UBS has announced Ralph Hamers as its new Group CEO effective 1 November 2020.

The 53-year-old Dutch banker is replacing his predecessor Sergio Ermotti who had been with Switzerland's largest bank for almost a decade. Mr Hamers will join UBS as a member of the group executive board on 1 September 2020 to provide a smooth leadership transition.

Hamers is currently CEO of ING Group after progressing through a number of senior roles across business segments and countries after joining the group in 1991 before becoming CEO in 2013. Under his guidance ING Group has implemented a fundamental shift in its operating model and is now considered one of the best examples of digital innovation in retail banking in particular. Mr Hamers is chairman of the European Banking Group, the leading European banking association, and holds a Master of Science in Business Econometrics and Operations Research from the Tilburg University.

HSBC is deliberating on its crucial CEO decision with UniCredit's Jean Pierre Mustier considered against caretaker leader Noel Quinn. Mustier, 59, a former paratrooper who has successfully placed Italy's biggest bank on a path back to strength since 2016, would be HSBC's first ‘outsider’ CEO since 1865. Previous CEO John Flint was forced to step down in Q3 2019 with caretaker boss Noel Quinn widely expected to step into his shoes permanently. An announcement to the market is expected in the coming weeks however the bank has suggested the search could even take a full year.

Pressure is mounting on chairman Mark Tucker, who launched a restructuring with Quinn at the helm. The 58-year-old caretaker boss revealed the strategy, which includes 35,000 job cuts, last week. HSBC’s share price fell more than six percent on the back the results announcement while UniCredit shares fell four percent amid speculation about Mustier's future.

"The chairman and the board have put Quinn in a ghastly position and Quinn should resign, leaving them to pick up the pieces," said Merian Head of UK Equities Richard Buxton.

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