UBS to take in Credit Suisse CEO as merger closes in 2 weeks

GENEVA — UBS said today it’s bringing the CEO of Credit Suisse on to its executive board and will keep the two banks operating separately “for the foreseeable future” as it moves forward with a high-profile merger expected to close within two weeks.

The two Zurich-based banks, longtime rivals, are uniting in a $3.25 billion deal hastily arranged in March by Swiss government officials and regulators after Credit Suisse’s stock plunged and jittery depositors quickly pulled out their money. The merger aimed to stem upheaval in the global financial system after the collapse of two U.S. banks that has shaken confidence in the sector.

“This is a pivotal moment for UBS, Credit Suisse and the entire banking industry,” said UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti, who was brought back to the bank to help see the deal through.

“Together we will solidify and represent the Swiss model for finance around the world, one that is capital-light, less reliant on taking risk and anchored by stability and high-touch service,” he said.

UBS announced several high-level appointments, including that Credit Suisse CEO Ulrich Körner will join its executive board with the job of “ensuring Credit Suisse’s operational continuity and client focus, while supporting the integration process.”

“UBS AG and Credit Suisse AG will continue to operate independently for the foreseeable future and UBS will carry out the integration in a phased approach,” UBS said.

The Swiss attorney general’s office has opened a probe into events surrounding Credit Suisse ahead of the UBS takeover, and the executive branch ordered tens of millions in cuts to the bonuses of top Credit Suisse executives on Wednesday.