UBS appoints Barbara Levi as Group General Counsel

Rick Steves

Ms. Levi will replace Markus Diethelm, who optimized related operational risk charges for the firm and total legal costs throughout his 13 years as the group general counsel.

Group General Counsel of UBS, Markus Diethelm, has decided to step down from his current role effective 1 November 2021 and will be succeeded by Barbara Levi.

Ms. Levi joins UBS from Rio Tinto Group, where she has served as Chief Legal Officer & External Affairs and before that as Group General Counsel and member of the Executive Committee since January 2020.

Prior to that, she worked for Novartis Group for 15 years in various senior management roles: Group Legal Head, M&A, and Strategic Transactions, Global Legal Head & General Counsel of Sandoz, the Novartis generics and biosimilars division and Global Legal Head, Product Strategy & Commercialization, for the Novartis Pharma division.

Ms. Levi is a qualified attorney-at-law admitted to the US Supreme Court and to the bar in Milan and New York State, where she did private practice before joining Novartis.

Ralph Hamers, UBS Group Chief Executive Officer, commented: “I want to personally thank Markus for his longstanding commitment and contribution to the success of UBS. Since 2008 he has resolved a number of very important legacy issues for the bank. He will remain with us as senior advisor for select legal cases, while ensuring a seamless transition. I’m looking forward to having Barbara join UBS later this year. With more than 25 years of legal and compliance experience across different industries and geographies, she is ideally suited to lead our General Counsel function into the future.”

Markus Diethelm will remain in a senior advisor role into 2022 with responsibility for select legacy litigation cases. He joined the Group Executive Board in 2008, modernized the Group General Counsel function, optimizing related operational risk charges for the firm and total legal costs.

Mr. Diethelm led the group’s counsel teams throughout the many scandals of the post-2008 global financial crisis. In 2009, UBS managed to dismiss a Sterling LIBOR manipulation lawsuit brought against it by FrontPoint European Fund, L.P. at the New York Southern District Court.

FrontPoint brought the putative antitrust class action lawsuit against UBS AG alleging that the bank conspired with other financial institutions to manipulate the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) for British Pound Sterling.

UBS UK chooses the future: replaces COO function with Chief Digital and Information Officer

UBS AG UK has announced the creation of the Chief Digital and Information Officer (CDIO) and appointed Mike Dargan to the role, effective 1 May 2021.

The CDIO comprises the current Group Technology teams, as well as Group Corporate Services, while business-aligned Operations will move into the respective business functions, with shared Operations remaining with CDIO.

Mr. Dargan was Head of Group Technology since he joined UBS in 2016 after working as CIO at Standard Chartered Bank, as well as Head Corporate Strategy & M&A, EMEA and PacRim for Merrill Lynch and Head CIB, Asia-Pacific for Oliver Wyman.

Ralph Hamers, Group Chief Executive Officer at UBS UK, commented: “I’m excited to welcome Mike Dargan to the GEB in his expanded role. Given his strong track record and in-depth expertise, I’m confident that he is the right leader to help us achieve our strategic ambitions in the digital and technology space by bringing the best experience to our clients.

“I also want to thank UBS Switzerland President Sabine Keller-Busse for her leadership in transforming the GCOO organization over the past years through increased business alignment, collaboration, and efficiencies, including the increased adoption of technology, thus laying the foundation that makes this next step in the journey possible.”

The creation of the CDIO role follows a recent speech from the UBS chief executive, where he explained that innovation is not a trend. It’s here to stay.

“Innovation is not a thing that we can determine to be a trend, it is here to stay. Banks and companies have to embrace the digital future and with this realize that you cannot innovate alone. Nobody has a monopoly on good ideas and therefore you have to be open to innovation and collaboration”, he said at Singapore Fintech Festival.

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