The search to replace Swiss banking legend Oswald Grubel has accelerated at embattled UBS (UBS), which has reportedly hired an executive search firm and contacted at least one potential external candidate.
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UBS has been thrown into disarray by a rogue trader scandal that caused $2.3 billion in losses and ultimately forced Grubel to step down over the weekend in a surprise move. The Swiss bank tapped Sergio Ermotti, its head of Europe, Middle East and Africa, to take Grubel’s place while it conducts a search for a permanent replacement.
To aid its search, Zurich-based UBS has hired head-hunting firm Egon Zehnder International, The Wall Street Journal reported.
UBS has already contacted on a preliminary basis at least one potential candidate: ex-JPMorgan Chase (JPM) exec Bill Winters, who left the U.S. bank in 2009 as part of an executive shuffle, the Journal reported.
Winters had been co-head of JPMorgan’s investment bank and is considered a strong risk manager. The company’s board of directors also hasn’t ruled out tapping an internal candidate like investment bank chief Carsten Kengeter, the paper reported.
Shares of UBS slumped 5.75% to $11.80 ahead of Friday’s open amid a broad selloff in the European financial sector. Other big European lenders listed in the U.S. like Credit Suisse (CS) and Deutsche Bank (DB) also declined as the markets continue to fret about the continent's sovereign debt crisis.