UBS Hires Bank of America’s Orcel to Co-Run Investment Bank

UBS AG (UBSN) hired Andrea Orcel, a top Bank of America Corp. (BAC) dealmaker, as co-head of its investment bank to help run a division rocked by key departures and last year’s $2.3 billion loss from unauthorized trading.

Orcel, 48, the chairman of global banking and markets at Bank of America, will co-lead the investment bank alongside Carsten Kengeter, Zurich-based UBS said in a statement today. His role becomes effective on July 1, UBS said.

“I am pleased that we are adding Andrea’s depth of experience and skillset to our group executive board,” said UBS Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti. “Taken together, Carsten and Andrea’s expertise and proven track record create very strong impact, and they will co-lead an effective execution-driven leadership team.”

Ermotti, 51, is seeking to revive the investment bank after it was shaken by the trading scandal that forced the departure of his predecessor, Oswald Gruebel. The bank said last year it plans to shrink its fixed-income trading business, which will be less profitable under stricter capital rules, leaving it more reliant on its equity and investment-banking businesses for income.

Asia Moves

UBS also said Alex Wilmot-Sitwell, the co-chief executive of Asia Pacific, will become chairman of the investment bank. Wilmot-Sitwell will continue to be based in Hong Kong and step down from the group executive board. Chi-Won Yoon will become sole chief of the Asia-Pacific region, the bank added.

Orcel, a veteran Merrill Lynch dealmaker, became chairman of global banking and markets after Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America completed the Merrill takeover. The bank expanded his role in 2010, making him president of emerging markets including Asia.

He joined Merrill Lynch in 1992 as part of its team advising companies in the financial-services industry. He worked on some of Europe’s biggest banking deals, including Banco Santander SA (SAN)’s acquisition of Britain’s Abbey National Plc in 2004, UniCredit SpA’s 7.5 billion-euro ($9.9 billion) rights offering this year and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc’s acquisition of ABN Amro Holding NV.

Orcel received a reported $33.8 million in compensation for 2008, the year when Merrill Lynch had net losses of $27 billion, prompting criticism from investors as well as former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker.

Orcel is the second senior departure at Bank of America this week. Jonathan Moulds, the president of Bank of America Corp. in Europe, is preparing to step down after 18 years at the firm, according to two people with knowledge of situation yesterday.

To contact the reporters on this story: Elisa Martinuzzi in Milan at emartinuzzi@bloomberg.net; Ambereen Choudhury in London at achoudhury@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net.

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