UBS names JP Morgan woman Sarah Youngwood as CFO

Rick Steves

The European Central Bank asked for more diversity on the boards of banks and among executives.

JP Morgan executive Sarah Youngwood has been appointed Chief Financial Officer at UBS Group effective in May 2022, where she will be replacing current CFO Kirt Gardner.

Gardner has recently announced his decision to step down to pursue other challenges, but will be supporting new CFO during her two-month onboarding period before retiring from UBS.

Youngwood has joint French-U.S. citizenship and has been the financial chief of JPMorgan Chase’s Consumer & Community Banking line of business since 2016. Prior to that, she served as Head of Investor Relations for JPMorgan Chase for four years and spent other 14 in other JPM roles in Paris, London and New York.

“With her strong track record, in-depth finance expertise, and experience across various banking areas, Sarah is ideally suited to lead our finance function into the future”, said UBS chief executive Ralph Hamers.

Women on board

The European Central Bank asked for more diversity on the boards of banks and among executives. A recent report pointed to only 8% of women chief executives in European credit and investment institutions.

Moreover, only a fifth of the positions on management bodies of Europe’s largest banks are held by women, according to the ECB’s supervisory board.

It seems that UBS heard it loud and clear. The bank hired Sarah Youngwood, a woman who has not only led JP Morgan Chase’s global technology unit, but also the diversity & inclusion team.

In April, UBS Group announced the appointment Barbara Levi as General Counsel, a qualified attorney-at-law admitted to the US Supreme Court and to the bar in Milan and New York State.

Barbara Levi joined 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.

“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”, said UBS chief executive Ralph Hamers at the time.

The new General Counsel replaced Markus Diethelm, who decided to step down from his current role effective 1 November 2021.

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