UBS has hired former Credit Suisse executive Ulrich Körner to lead a major restructuring drive that will include the consolidation of group-wide IT functions at the bank.
Körner spent ten years at Credit Suisse, where he held the postitions of CFO and COO, and was latterly responsible for the entire Swiss client business as CEO of the Switzerland region.
In announcing his appointment as group chief operating oficer, UBS says Körner has "considerable experience in restructuring and integrating corporate structures and processes as well as an acknowledged track record as a turnaround manager".
Oswald Grübel, group CEO, says: "Ulrich Körner brings, in addition to comprehensive managerial and banking know-how and client business knowledge, extensive expertise in the relevant processes, systems and technologies.
At UBS, Körner will lead a major restructuring programme that will entail the integration of the bank's group-wide infrastructure and service functions - including IT, HR, procurement, real estate and facility management - into a corporate command and control centre.
The IT units of the business divisions will be consolidated at the group level within an already centralised IT infrastructure unit. Finance, risk control, legal and complaince will likewise be consolidated at the group level, creating opportunities for centralising processes and systems enterprise-wide.
The Swiss bank says the move will streamline processes and decision-making, increase efficiency and cut costs.
The units to be centralised currently employ about 15,000 people, most of whom are located in Switzerland. UBS has yet to quantify the magnitude of the expected savings nor the implications for staffing levels.