UBS names new chief of its troubled investment banking unit amid subprime woes

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UBS AG on Wednesday named Jerker Johansson of Morgan Stanley as new head of its investment banking unit, which is being revamped following the company's problems with US subprime investments.

13 February 2008

GENEVA - UBS AG on Wednesday named Jerker Johansson of Morgan Stanley as new head of its investment banking unit, which is being revamped following the company's problems with US subprime investments.

The bank, Switzerland's largest, said Johansson will take over as chief executive of the unit on March 17 and will be based in London.

"While this has been a difficult time for the investment bank because of the losses in fixed income, we have continued to see strong performances in both in both our equities and investment banking divisions," UBS Chief Executive Marcel Rohner said.

Johansson has been vice chairman, Europe, at Morgan Stanley, where he has spent a 22-year career, UBS said.

JP Morgan analyst Kian Abouhossein said Johansson's first priority will be to restore calm and order among staff and clients.

The announcement comes a day before UBS is expected to post a fourth-quarter net loss of roughly CHF12.5 billion because of mortgage-backed securities that cost former investment banking head Huw Jenkins and other top executives their jobs.

The bank has warned that it will likely report fourth-quarter write-downs of some US$14 billion on its holdings of debt securities.

UBS shares on the Zurich exchange Wednesday closed down 0.08% at CHF40.86.

[Copyright ap 2008]

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