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Instant view: Sergio Ermotti makes surprise comeback to lead UBS into new era

UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti attends the 2019 New Economy Forum in Beijing

LONDON (Reuters) - Veteran investment banker Sergio Ermotti is returning to take the top job at UBS as the Swiss lender prepares for the mammoth task of integrating failed cross-town rival Credit Suisse.

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ASHLEY PITTARD, HEAD OF GLOBAL EQUITIES, PENDAL, SYDNEY: (A SHAREHOLDER)

"Without a doubt, he is the right person for the job. He is the Tom Brady of Swiss banking, or European banking. He's the guy you want to right the ship as the executive and then become the chairperson for the longer term.

"Sergio was in the trenches during and post the global financial crisis when UBS was in a lot of trouble. He's got the runs on the board."

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VICTORIA SCHOLAR, HEAD OF INVESTMENT, INTERACTIVE INVESTOR, LONDON

"Having steered UBS through the aftermath of the 2008 GFC and a rogue-trading scandal, Ermotti is a dab hand at crisis management. He also helped UBS to navigate through the onset of the pandemic and the corresponding market volatility during most of 2020.

"The new CEO will have the immediate challenges of cutting staff, reducing Credit Suisse's investment bank, finding other synergies between the two lenders and convincing shareholders about the prospects for the arranged marriage."

ANDREAS VENDITTI, HEAD OF BANKS RESEARCH, BANK VONTOBEL

"We welcome the appointment of Sergio Ermotti and believe that he is right person for the challenging task, given his experience of successfully transforming UBS after the Global Financial Crisis.

"UBS's priorities have clearly changed, with the integration of CS being the most important task. In addition, UBS is already facing significant political pressure due to its large size and importance for the country. The question 'what to do with CS Switzerland?' has already triggered a heated debate."

MICHAEL KLIEN, ANALYST, ZUERCHER KANTONALBANK

"With this change of leadership, the bank is sending a clear signal that its focus is on the successful integration of Credit Suisse. With Ermotti, UBS is bringing on board a proven expert on the bank and an effective enforcer for the successful merger of the two banks.

"...we believe that while the acquisition will increase the bank's risks, these will be more than offset by the potential benefits."

JERRY DEL MISSIER, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER AT COPPER STREET CAPITAL AND FORMER CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER AT BARCLAYS, LONDON

"They needed to strengthen management. Good move."

(Reporting By Sinead Cruise and Iain Withers in London, John Revill and Noele Illien in Zurich)