- The Washington Times - Monday, March 16, 2009

ZURICH (AP) - UBS AG on Monday announced it will replace three members of its board of directors, including billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli, as part of a wave of changes to top management at Switzerland’s largest bank.

Nominated to join the board at the April 15 shareholders meeting are Michael Demare, finance chief of engineering company ABB Ltd.; Axel Lehmann, group chief risk officer of Zurich Financial Services; and Ann Godbehere, who served as chief financial officer of Northern Rock under the initial phase of the British government’s ownership of the mortgage lender.

Stepping down are billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli, who has been a board member for seven years and is head of the Team Alinghi yachting syndicate which has won the last two Americas Cups. Also leaving are Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler and Joerg Wolle, each of whom has served three years.

“UBS has important challenges ahead and therefore the Swiss banking giant needs outstanding people to tackle them,” said analyst Nicolas Michellod at Celent insurance practice group. He particularly praised the choice of Lehmann because he helped Zurich Financial “go through the financial crisis without big problems.”

In recent weeks UBS also replaced its two most powerful figures, naming former Swiss President Kaspar Villiger to succeed Peter Kurer as chairman of the board and former Credit Suisse CEO Oswald Gruebel to replace Marcel Rohner as its new chief executive.

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