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UBS Names ING’s Ralph Hamers as its New CEO

By Anne Chou
UBS
Denis Linine / Shutterstock.com

UBS Group has named ING chief executive Ralph Hamers as its new CEO. He succeeds Sergio Ermotti, who is stepping down as the head of the world’s biggest wealth manager. Hamers will join UBS’s board in September and step into the CEO role on November 1, according to the company.

UBS Chairman Axel Weber said in a statement that Hamers “is the right person to lead UBS’s continued transformation and build upon its successful strategy.” He added that Hamers is “a seasoned and well-respected banker with proven expertise in digital transformation.”

Hamers leaves ING, the Netherland’s largest bank and financial services firm, after a nearly three-decade career at the bank. He held a number of roles before becoming CEO in 2013. Under Hamers’ watch, the bank’s revenue increased and it invested heavily in digital banking. However, compliance costs at the bank increased after ING agreed to pay a substantial fine of about $900 million in 2018 to settle an investigation by Dutch prosecutors into money laundering by clients through the bank.

In a separate statement, ING said that Hamers will remain as chief executive until June 30. No successor was named by the bank.

Ermotti, whose departure has been speculated upon this past year, spent almost a decade at UBS. He earned praise for overhauling UBS’s strategy after the financial crisis with a focus on growing its wealth management business. The last year of Ermotti’s tenure was a challenging one with a slump in UBS’s share price, questions about succession planning, and payment of a $5 billion fine in a French tax fraud case.

Hamers appointment comes shortly after another major Swiss bank, Credit Suisse Group, replaced CEO Tidjane Thiam last week following a spying scandal.

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