The Swiss wealth manager is poaching a J.P. Morgan executive as its next finance chief.
Zurich-based UBS is hiring Sarah Youngwood as its chief financial officer, effective May 1, it said in a statement on Thursday. A J.P. Morgan «lifer,» she replaces Kirt Gardner, who will retire to pursue other opportunities.
Her hire and the exit of the 62-year-old Gardner represents a rejuvenation and diversification of top management under CEO Ralph Hamers, in his 13 months at the helm of the world’s largest wealth manager. The arrival of Youngwood will lift UBS’ top management to one-third female.
Top Rank Rejuvenation
Hamers appointed Sabine Keller-Busse as head of the Swiss bank’s home market, elevated technology boss Mike Dargan into the 12-person management of UBS, and hired Barbara Levi as chief lawyer. The average age of the top executives is now 54 – thanks to Dargan, who is 44, and private bank co-head Iqbal Khan, who is 45.
Youngwood, who is to begin at UBS in March and take over from Gardner two months later, has been finance chief at J.P. Morgan’s consumer bank in New York for the past five years. The French-American executive also leads finance for the U.S. bank’s global technology unit and its diversity and inclusion team.
In the job since 2016, Gardner was instrumental in paring back UBS’ investment bank and in spending cuts under previous CEO Sergio Ermotti as well as Hamers, who in April quietly reactivated job cuts that had been paused during the pandemic, as finews.com reported.
Gardner was also a stabilizing influence in management after Hamers was ensnared in a revived money laundering probe from his time running ING. Hamers passed a key test two months ago to put the matter to rest definitely.