Executing Strategy on Two Fronts: The Rise and Fall of UBS under Marcel Ospel

Published 23 Feb 2015
Reference 5834
Topic Strategy
Industry Banking
Region Europe
Summary

The case describes the spectacular rise of UBS in the period 2000-2008 and its decline in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. CEO Ospel led an ambitious growth strategy, abandoning UBS's traditional risk-averse culture in favour of a more risk-taking form of investment banking in the USA.

Teaching objectives

The case brings into focus the tensions between different concepts of ambitious leadership, different approaches to strategy execution in international settings, and different organizational cultures (Swiss-style conservative banking vs. the risk-seeking culture of investment banking). The implicit question is whether the expansion strategy into the US have been executed differently.

Keywords
  • strategy execution
  • international expansion
  • visionary leadership
  • banking and finance
  • organizational culture
  • investment banking
  • global financial crisis
  • hedge fund
  • Q21415
  • European Competitiveness
  • Europe