Colm Kelleher has been proposed as the next chair of UBS, the company confirmed this morning.
The official announcement comes after a flurry of media speculation over the weekend after Alex Weber, the current chair, reportedly met the UBS board to discuss the appointment.
Weber will step down from the role next year, after 10 years of leading the bank – the maximum term limit.
Kelleher, an Oxford graduate, retired as president of Morgan Stanley, where he oversaw both the institutional securities business and wealth management, in June 2019 after 30 years working his way up the bank. He has agreed to the new post heading up UBS and started house-hunting in Zurich over the weekend, according to the Financial Times.
The former head of the Swiss National Bank, Philipp Hildebrand, and ex-UniCredit chief executive officer Jean Pierre Mustier were among some of the other names previously linked to the search for Weber’s successor.
“His more than 30 years of leadership experience in banking and excellent relationships around the world make Colm an ideal fit for UBS,” said Weber of his successor.
UBS today also confirmed that Lukas Gähwiler, described by Weber as “one of the country’s most respected bankers,” has been proposed as vice chairman.
News of Kelleher’s appointment comes after the Swiss investment banking giant recorded its best quarterly profit for six years last month, driven by a sharp uptick in trading activity by the world’s ultra wealthy.
Net profits came in at $2.3bn in the three months to the end of September, beating analyst expectations of $1.5bn.