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Full text of memo to UBS staff following Oswald Grübel’s resignation

Memo from Swiss bank’s interim head Sergio Ermotti and Kaspar Villiger, chairman of the board of directors

Dear colleagues,

By now you will have read the announcement contained in the attached press release, which states that the board of directors has accepted the resignation of Oswald J Grübel and has appointed Sergio P Ermotti as Group CEO on an interim basis.

The board and GEB deeply regret his decision, but Oswald Grübel felt a personal duty in the best interests of the firm to assume responsibility for the recent unauthorised trading incident.

During Oswald Grübel’s tenure as CEO, he achieved an impressive turnaround and strengthened the firm fundamentally, making UBS one of the world’s best capitalised banks. We have the highest respect for all Oswald Grübel has done for UBS.

His dedication to the success of the firm and his relentless commitment to clients, shareholders and employees have always been exemplary.

There will be enormous challenges in the coming weeks and months and we are confident that we can realign UBS to deal with the new market environment facing the financial services industry.

The first priority of the GEB will be to finalise the business plans essential to implementing the realignment strategy as discussed in today’s announcement. The strength of our bank lies in our ability to offer demanding private, corporate and institutional clients a broad range of services and products in all the major markets of the world from a single source.

We will focus even more on this capability in the future. Another of our priorities will be to fully support the independent enquiry into the unauthorised trading incident. As soon as the results of it are available, we will take the necessary steps to prevent another incident with such far-reaching consequences to occur in our bank again. We understand how great your personal frustration must be about this incident, especially in light of the reputational damage borne by UBS at a time when we were making such good progress.

In spite of the incident, however, UBS’s financial standing today is rock solid. Speculation regarding what occurred is likely to continue for some time yet. Our clients, colleagues and friends will ask legitimate questions to which we won’t always have answers at the time. Please do not allow yourselves to get involved in speculation. We will ensure that you receive material to support you in such conversations.

At the moment, it is more important than ever for us to keep focused on our daily business. Precisely at challenging times like this, we have to be there for our clients. What has happened is serious, but there is no reason why it should affect our core business.

Under Oswald Grübel’s leadership during the last two-and-a-half years, you all achieved a tremendous amount. Now we have to continue down the path we have chosen. Let’s all get on with our job. If we pull together, we can make sure that we handle this latest phase in our 150-year history professionally.

Thank you for your support.

Kaspar Villiger, on behalf of the board of directors, Sergio P Ermotti, on behalf of the group executive board © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds