What You Need to Know
- Colm Kelleher, 64, will stand for election to succeed Axel Weber at the Swiss firm’s annual meeting in April.
- He helped Morgan Stanley’s investment bank rebuild client confidence after hedge funds pulled money during the crash.
UBS Group AG nominated former Morgan Stanley President Colm Kelleher as its next chairman, tapping an executive with broad banking and wealth experience to help oversee the firm’s pivot towards digital.
Kelleher, 64, will stand for election to succeed Axel Weber at the Swiss firm’s annual meeting in April, UBS said in a statement Saturday, confirming an earlier Bloomberg report that it was in discussions to appoint the Wall Street veteran. The bank also nominated Lukas Gaehwiler as vice chairman.
Kelleher — once considered a potential successor to Morgan Stanley Chief Executive Officer James Gorman — will be helping steer a firm that’s seeking to boost its wealth management business in Asia and pursuing greater efficiency through more digital offerings.
At the same time, he’ll have to guide UBS through a costly lawsuit in France where the lender is contesting a huge fine for helping clients evade taxes.
The financier “has a deep understanding of the global banking landscape,” Weber said in the statement. “His more than 30 years of leadership experience in banking and excellent relationships around the world make Colm an ideal fit for UBS.”
Weber suggested in May the bank should consider appointing a chairwoman after he exits next year, as the bank seeks to address a lack of gender diversity on its board. Weber, who is himself involved in the search process along with CEO Ralph Hamers, plans to step down after about a decade.