Andrea Orcel: Contender for New Top Position?

Andrea Orcel

Andrea Orcel

Andrea Orcel, head of the Investment Bank at UBS, hasn't been shy about his plans for the division he leads. Now, he's suddenly been linked with taking over the job at a different bank.

Andrea Orcel was somewhat impatient when laying out the tasks he wanted to tackle: turning the Investment Bank of UBS into an adviser bank of the Wall Street typology.

All of a sudden, he may be forced to shift his gunsight to a different target altogether: Orcel is a candidate for taking over as chief executive officer at Unicredit, the crisis-ridden Italian banking giant, Austrian daily «Der Standard» reported.

Unicredit: Job Cuts, Bad Loans

Unicredit's embattled CEO Federico Ghizzoni recently had to redraw the strategy of the bank and announce the elimination of 18,000 jobs. Unicredit has bad loans amounting to 84 billion euros, more than any other bank in the European Union.

Milan-based Unicredit didn't comment on the rumors about Ghizzoni's possible departure, «Der Standard» said. Abu Dhabi's Aabar, known as owners of the Falcon Private Bank in Switzerland and holder of a 5-percent-stake in Unicredit, so far seems to have kept faith in Ghizzoni.

High Aims

But the times in European banking are difficult and change is in the air – putting a man with Orcel's pedigree and Italian origins in a prime position to take over comes the day.

UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti at the end of 2012 promoted his colleague from the times at Merrill Lynch to head of the Investment Bank. Orcel since has excelled in remodeling the division.

But the banker himself let it be known, that he aimed higher: «Of course I want to be CEO of a bank one day,» he said in an interview in spring 2015. 

The day may have moved closer.

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