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UBS chief paid $9.0 mn in 2012

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The head of Swiss banking giant UBS, Sergio Ermotti, was handed more 8.9 million Swiss francs ($9.3 million, 7.2 million euros) in salary and bonuses in 2012, according to the bank's annual report published Thursday.

Ermotti saw his compensation last year balloon 39 percent compared to 2011, when he took home 6.4 million Swiss francs.

He took over as chief executive halfway through 2012 to replace Oswald Gruebel, who stepped down at the height of the scandal surrounding Ghanian-born UBS banker Kweky Adoboli, who gambled away some $2.3 billion.

The UBS annual report also showed Thursday that Switzerland's largest bank had handed a welcome bonus of nearly 25 million Swiss francs to Italian star banker Andrea Orcel to convince him to make the move from Bank of America Merrill Lynch to head the UBS investment bank unit.

That bonus breaks down to some $6.3 million in cash and 1,755,691 shares in the bank valued at 18.5 million francs, the annual report said.

Orcel joined UBS last July and has been tasked with overseeing a massive overhaul of the investment bank, which has been at the heart of numerous scandals in recent years and which burdened the bank with catastrophic losses during the 2008 "subprime" crisis.

UBS has announced 10,000 job-cuts in the unit by 2015.

Despite the massive pay-outs to Ermotti and Orcel, UBS said in early February that it had slashed overall compensation by seven percent last year to 2.5 billion Swiss francs.

Executive compensation packages have recently been heatedly debated in Switzerland.

While the central European country has avoided the levels of economic crisis seen in the EU, public anger has risen there as elsewhere over what is deemed abusive levels of pay and bonuses for top bosses.

Earlier this month, Swiss voters overwhelmingly cast their ballots to ban so-called golden handshakes for executives both on entering and exiting a company.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130314/ubs-chief-paid-90-mn-2012