UBS' «Reservoir Dogs» Movie Moment

UBS, promotional video, Axel Weber, Sergio Ermotti, Andrea Orcel, Markus Diethelm, Tom Naratil, Oswald Gruebel

still of CEO Sergio Ermotti from UBS promotional video

UBS executives star in a promotional video released by the Swiss bank. The 12-minute production features cinematic tricks to tug at the heartstrings, including swelling music, slow-motion and personal remembrances.

It is meant to extol UBS' principles and virtues: a slickly-produced promotional video to tell the bank's story and to humanize its executives.

The video features chairman Axel Weber, CEO Sergio Ermotti and other executives on UBS' 12-member top management padding through the bank's headquarters in a fashion quickly likened on Twitter to a famous slow-motion group walk in Quentin Tarantino's «Reservoir Dogs.»

The video is an update of a two-year old production on what UBS terms its keys to success: its pillars, principles and behaviors. The piece was refreshed to account for executives who have recently joined management, such as finance chief Kirt Gardner.

«May Disappoint Our Clients»

Partly shot on notable Zurich landmarks like main luxury shopping thoroughfare Bahnhofstrasse or the lakeshore, executives like investment banker Andrea Orcel, chief lawyer Markus Diethelm, Asia head Kathy Shih and U.S. brokerage chief and former finance chief Tom Naratil pontificate on lofty principles like integrity or reflect on past mistakes.

«Inevitably there are times when we're not going to do everything as well as we'd like and we may disappoint our clients», Naratil says.

«With Friends over a Beer»

Lawyer Diethelm reminds viewers that «you can do something that's perfectly legal, but immoral. So even if something is legal, it may not be the right thing to do,» telling viewers later that «holding it in, not talking about it is usually a recipe for disaster.»

Meanwhile, investment banker Orcel says «it's not difficult to have an integrity with your friends over a beer on what you think is right and wrong. Try and challenge your boss when you know that your boss has very different views and usually reacts aggressively or emotionally to different point of view.» 

Gruebel's 2010 «Why?» Video 

The video is reminiscent of a 2010 video featuring then-CEO Oswald Gruebel walking along the Zurich lakeshore in the dawn hours pondering why he had come out of retirement.

The video was released two years after the bank had been bailed out by the Swiss government and as it struggled with the fallout from a massive U.S. investigation into how it helped wealthy Americans cheat on their taxes and a $2 billion rogue trading loss.

12 Minutes

«Why? Why did I have to come our of retirement? Until it became clear to me, I have to do it,» Gruebel said in the video, part of UBS' «we will not rest» campaign at the time.

Making people get emotional over the nuts and bolts of personal finance is famously difficult. UBS' newest cinematic effort hinges on whether viewers will sit through 12 minutes of UBS executives holding forth on their and the bank's principles.

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