UBS chief's surprise return to the Swiss banking giant bagged him a $15.9 million paycheck

UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti earned 14.4 million Swiss francs ($15.9 million) in 2023 after his surprise return at the helm of the Swiss banking giant, following its takeover of stricken rival Credit Suisse.

The bank announced in late March that Ermotti would return for a second spell as CEO, replacing Ralph Hamers from April 5 last year, as UBS undertook the mammoth task of integrating Credit Suisse’s business. Ermotti’s previous tenure ran from 2011 to 2020.

Hamers earned 12.6 million Swiss francs in 2022 during his last full year as CEO, according to UBS’ annual report published on Thursday.

The figures total base and variable compensation.

In total, the bank’s executive board picked up a 140.3 million Swiss franc pay package in 2023, a significant increase from the previous year’s 106.9 million francs.

Bonuses paid to employees at the new combined bank totaled $4.5 billion, UBS revealed, the majority of which was paid in cash.

This marked a 14% reduction compared with the aggregate 2022 pool of $5.3 billion for the combined entities, as UBS looks to cut costs as part of its integration of Credit Suisse.

The bank last month reported a second consecutive quarterly loss on the back of integration costs, but continued to deliver strong underlying operating profits.

UBS shares have gained more than 52% since Ermotti took the reins on April 5, 2023.

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