UBS Chairman's Pay Slashed 90% in 2007


Marcel Ospel, the embattled chairman of UBS, took a 90 percent pay cut in 2007 after the Swiss bank chalked up a $18 billion in writedowns and warned that it still held billions more in at-risk investments.

Total compensation for Ospel, the highest-paid member of the board of directors, totaled 2,568,379 Swiss francs ($2.6 million) for 2007, a decrease of 90 percent over 2006, UBS, the world's largest wealth manager, said in its annual report released on Tuesday.

Ospel came under heavy pressure to resign and forego his 2007 compensation last year when UBS first revealed the shock losses, and he received a scathing reception at the group's annual shareholders' meeting last month.

The activist chairman, whose approval was required on many of the key risk decisions that led to UBS's subprime debacle, has repeatedly said he did not want any bonus in 2007.

Beyond his salary, however, he did have an 11 million franc mortgage from UBS and held 769,483 shares and 960,000 options in the bank in 2007, according to the annual report.

Speculation persists that UBS -- whose shares had shed as much as 70 percent by this week from their June, 2007 high before recovering slightly on Tuesday -- will need to write down more of its massive mortgage portfolio.

Analysts at J.P. Morgan say they expect UBS to post additional net writedowns of 17.7 billion Swiss francs ($18 billion) in 2008, taking its total writedowns to an estimated 39.83 billion francs.

Ospel is expected to keep his role at the helm until the group regains control of the situation.

According to the report, none of Ospel's executive colleagues on the bank's board received incentive awards for 2007, since they depend on financial performance.