The FINANCIAL — UBS AG announces three new candidates for the Board of Directors to be proposed for election at the bank's Annual General Meeting on 15 April 2009. Three current members will not stand for re-election. These changes are in addition to the previously announced nomination of Kaspar Villiger to succeed Peter Kurer.
Changes to the Board of Directors
Ernesto Bertarelli, Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler and Joerg Wolle have decided not to stand for re-election for a further one-year term. Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler and Joerg Wolle were members of the Board of Directors for three years, and Ernesto Bertarelli was a member for seven years; he is currently the longest-serving member of the Board.
“I thank the departing members for their excellent work and dedication to our institution over a number of years,” said Chairman Peter Kurer. “All of them have contributed substantially to the development of our bank and have actively engaged in meeting the challenges of the bank over the last 18 months, both on the Board level and in extensive committee work.”
“The time expenditure required in actively addressing the challenges of the bank in these turbulent times on both the Board and in two Board committees was enormous,” said Joerg Wolle. “This made it increasingly incompatible with my role as CEO of DKSH, leading to my decision not to stand for re-election. I am convinced that work in the past years has set the basis for a strong and prosperous UBS AG.”
“I am proud to have served one of Switzerland’s most important corporations during seven years, and through one of its most challenging periods," said Ernesto Bertarelli. “I am also pleased to have contributed to the changes made by UBS AG to address the difficult market conditions. Now it is appropriate that other people join the Board to participate in this transformation process towards bringing UBS AG back in its leadership position in the world of banking.”
“The involvement of the bank in litigation with the US government risks impairing my activities as an international arbitrator and I need to avoid that any doubts arise about my independence in arbitration proceedings which I have been chairing for over a year,” said Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler. “I will leave with the utmost regret as I was committed to continue to contribute to the renewal of UBS AG. The recent turn of events will not allow it, but I will leave with the conviction that, in particular through the work of the Governance and Nominating Committee, the bank is in good hands with a strong Board and strong leadership."
The unavailability of Ernesto Bertarelli, Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler and Joerg Wolle calls for the proposal of three new candidates for election to the Board.
“I am very excited that we can propose three exceptionally well-qualified candidates for election to the Board of Directors," said Chairman Peter Kurer. “They each have specific banking, finance and risk experience, allowing them to contribute to the various Committees it is planned they join.”
The search was managed by the Governance and Nominating Committee under the chair of Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler and was supported by outside advisors.
Biographies of Board of Directors nominees
Michel Demaré (1956) joined ABB as a member of the Executive Committee and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in 2005 and added the role of President of Global Markets in November 2008. Between February and September 2008, he acted as interim Chief Executive Officer of ABB. Mr. Demaré joined ABB from Baxter International, a global healthcare company, where he was CFO of Baxter Europe from 2002 to 2005. Prior to this role, he spent 18 years at the Dow Chemical Company. Mr. Demaré began his career as an officer in the Multinational Banking division of Continental Illinois Bank of Chicago, based in Antwerp and Brussels. He has graduated with an MBA from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) and a degree in applied economics from the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium). Mr. Demaré is a Belgian citizen.
Ann F. Godbehere (1955) was asked by the UK government to act as CFO of Northern Rock during the initial phase of the business’ public ownership from February 2008 until January 2009. Prior to this role, she served as CFO of Swiss Re from 2003 to 2007. Ms. Godbehere is a non-executive director of Prudential Plc and a fellow of the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada. She is on the Board of the Lloyd’s syndicate Atrium Underwriters, which was acquired in 2007 by Ariel Holdings, the insurance company, of whose Board she is also a member. Ms. Godbehere is a Canadian and British citizen, and is a resident of Zurich.
Axel P. Lehmann (1959) is a member of the Group Executive Committee and has been Group Chief Risk Officer of Zurich Financial Services (Zurich) since January 2008. In addition he is responsible for Zurich’s Group IT. He joined Zurich in 1996 as a member of the executive management team of Zurich Switzerland and subsequently held various executive management positions for Zurich in Switzerland, Europe and North America. Mr. Lehmann is an honorary professor for business administration and service management and Chairman of the Board of the Institute of Insurance Economics (I.VW-HSG) at University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. He holds a PhD and a master’s degree in business administration and economics from the University of St. Gallen and is a graduate of the Wharton Advanced Management Program. He is a Swiss citizen.