UBS CEO Oswald Gruebel says he won’t take a bonus for 2010, the WSJ reported.
Even though the firm finally returned to profit last year after an exodus of high-net worth clients (and their cash) decimated the bank in the two year prior, Gruebel told the WSJ,
“I’m forgoing a bonus because I was not in a position to add value for our shareholders—our share price ended 2010 at nearly the same level as it began the year.”
Watchers say one reason Gruebel is eschewing the extra compensation is as conciliatory gesture to UBS shareholders “ahead of what promises to be another tense round of annual meetings this spring” over excessive banker pay.
But in our opinion, Gruebel is also signalling to his employees, and avoiding a situation in which his bankers have their award slashed while he takes home millions.
Company-wide bonuses are supposed to be announced today, and we hear they won’t be good.
And how would it look if the CEO pocketed a mountain of extra cash while the foot soldiers’ bonuses were meager (relatively, of course).