Swiss Bank UBS has announced that it has hired a new CEO of European Union operations, according to a report by Reuters.
The bank appointed Christine Novakovic to the position. The contract of the previous CEO, Thomas Rodermann, was not renewed but the situation was a “friendly, mutual agreement,” according to the bank. Novakovic will start in the new position on Sep. 1 and will be based in Frankfurt.
The hiring of Novakovic will make her one of the most powerful bankers in Germany, where less than 10 percent of top finance management positions are held by women.
In addition to her new position, Novakovic will oversee the management of wealth in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and she’ll also handle Germany and Austria.
“This setup will allow us to streamline and simplify the management structure, reduce internal coordination effort and enable faster and more flexible decisions,” said Roland Koch, chairman of the supervisory board of UBS Europe SE.
One study by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) showed that while women in the finance industry hold so few management positions, the pace of the hiring of women has also slowed down in recent years.
“In no other industry is it so unlikely for women to reach a position at the level of the board or just beneath,” DIW said in the report.
In other UBS news, the U.S. arm of the company recently rolled out a new suite of commercial card products for its small to medium-sized business (SMB) customers. The co-branded Visa corporate cards offer small businesses a range of choices, including the UBS Visa Infinite Business card, the UBS Visa Signature Business card and the UBS Cash Rewards Visa Business card, each with their own rewards programs.
UBS is currently only offering the cards to clients of its UBS Global Wealth Management operations, with UBS Head of Card Program Fred Jubitz saying the card products are designed for this particular client base.
“Research showed us that a significant portion of business owners value a cash rewards product, but they also value general rewards programs, such as travel rewards programs, as well,” Jubitz said. “So, we decided to build three products to serve client needs.”