UBS pays new CEO $6m for first four months on job

ZURICH (BLOOMBERG) – UBS Group’s new chief executive officer Ralph Hamers earned 4.2 million francs (S$6 million) during his first four months on the job, setting him up for an annual salary that is multiple times what he earned during his previous role leading ING Groep.

Mr Hamers received a fixed pay of 1.21 million francs and variable compensation of 3 million francs after he “drove measures to improve collaboration, ownership and accountability” during his first months in charge, according to the Swiss bank’s annual report on Friday (March 5). Having weathered the pandemic better than many of its peers, the total bonus pool for employees rose 24 per cent to $3.3 billion for 2020.

Former CEO Sergio Ermotti who left to become chairman at reinsurer Swiss Re earned 13.3 million francs during his last year, up from 12.5 million francs in 2019, according to the annual compensation report published on Friday.

Mr Hamers earned about US$2.16 million (S$2.88 million) annually while leading ING, a role that continues to cast a shadow over the new CEO’s job in Zurich amid a legal probe into a money laundering scandal. UBS executives including chairman Axel Weber also still face the prospect of reduced bonuses from 2019, depending on the outcome of a retrial in France starting March 8 of a tax-evasion case that had seen the bank handed a US$5 billion fine.

Amid the economic and markets turmoil of the pandemic, UBS’ loan book proved resilient and the investment bank benefited from a surge in trading last year. The volatility during 2020 has led some of the world’s biggest banks to record profit and windfalls for traders.

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