UBS Group says it’s appointed a replacement for CEO Sergio Ermotti.

Ralph Hamers, who currently serves as CEO of ING Group, will take over the helm at UBS effective November 1, according to a press release from the Swiss-based firm. He will become a member of UBS Group’s executive board on September 1 “to ensure a smooth leadership transition,” the company says.

Hamers had been with ING since 1991 and its CEO since 2013, according to the press release. He will step down from his post at ING in September, according to the Financial Times.

“As the industry undergoes fundamental change, Ralph is the person to lead UBS’s continued transformation and build upon its successful strategy as the world’s largest and only truly global wealth manager and the leading universal bank in Switzerland, enhanced by its investment bank and asset management,” UBS Group AG Board Chairman Axel Weber says in the press release.


Ermotti is leaving UBS after close to nine years as its chief, the company says. People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg earlier this month that the company started a formal search for his replacement after Ermotti told company executives that he was planning to leave his post this year.

Insiders and investors, however, didn’t expect the firm to announce his replacement so soon, according to the FT. But Weber had approached Hamers several months ago, after a mutual decision not to extend Ermotti’s tenure, people familiar with the matter tell the paper. Weber offered Hamers the job after a search within and outside UBS, the FT writes.

Meanwhile, Barclays analysts have said that Hamers “does not have experience in running a global investment bank or wealth manager,” according to the paper. During his time at ING, Hamers worked in structured finance and served as head of media finance and CEO of ING Bank Netherlands, the FT writes.

UBS has shifted focus under Ermotti to build out its wealth management business, but the company passed over the newly appointed co-head of global wealth management Iqbal Khan, who’s only been with the firm since August 2019, as well as Tom Naratil, who was appointed co-head of the unit in February 2018 following the merger of UBS’ Wealth Management Americas business with the Wealth Management unit.

UBS’s wealth management business in the Americas had 6,549 advisors at the end of 2019, down from 6,850 at the end of 2018.

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