UBS cuts board terms in view of investor anger at subprime losses
21 February 2008
ZURICH – UBS AG said Thursday that board members will have to stand for election every year, a sign that the bank is giving in to investor anger over recent subprime troubles.
The bank cut the terms of its 11 board members to one year from three, and said three post holders – including chairman Marcel Ospel – would have to stand for re-election at this year’s annual general meeting on April 23.
“With these moves we have strengthened the leadership structure in order to manage UBS’ current challenges,” said Ospel.
Switzerland’s largest bank posted a loss of more than US$11 billion for the fourth quarter and its first full-year net loss in a decade after writing down CHF15.6 billion in the mortgage-related investments.
The bank also promoted Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne to the post of non-executive vice chairman, indicating that he might be called upon to deliver the turnaround investors are demanding.
UBS shares, which have more than halved in price over the past twelve months, rose 1.65% to CHF36.92 on the Zurich exchange.
[Copyright ap 2008]