UBS Girds for Battle With Group Led by Ex-President

Investors tell ailing Swiss banking giant its time to cut dead weight, sell businesses
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Apr 4, 2008 12:07 PM CDT
The logo on the headquarters of the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) is seen in this Feb. 14, 2006 file photo.   (AP Photo/Keystone, Martin Ruetschi, file)
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(Newser) – UBS, one of the banks hardest hit by the subprime collapse with $37.7 billion in writedowns, is under attack from an investor group led by one of its former presidents, reports the Wall Street Journal. The group wants the Swiss banking giant to spin off its investment bank, blaming it for the bank's woes.

Luqman Arnold, forced out in a 2001 power struggle three years after the bank was formed, also wants UBS to “act with urgency” to sell its asset management business and fire its newly named chairman. UBS has lost wealthy clients from its more conservative private-client bank as its finances worsened. Shares are down 56% in the past year, and 38% since January.