Marcel Ospel

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Person.png Marcel Ospel   ZoominfoRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Marcel Ospel.png
Born8 February 1950
Died26 April 2020 (Age 70)
Cause of death
Member ofRive-Reine-Conference/Guests
Swiss banker who attended the 2001 Bilderberg meeting.

Employment.png Chairman

In office
2001 - April 2008
Preceded byRichard Sykes (Big Pharma)

Employment.png CEO link= executive officer

In office
1998 - 2001
Preceded byAlexander Trotman
Attended Bilderberg/2001

Marcel Louis Ospel was a Swiss banker and the longtime head of the multinational investment bank UBS.[1] He attended the 2001 Bilderberg meeting.


Ospel started his banking career as an apprentice at a small Swiss bank in 1965. He pursued further education in Switzerland and abroad, and joined the marketing and planning division of the Swiss Bank Corporation (SBC) in 1977.[2] He rose to become the bank's head and the architect of its 1998 merger with the Union Bank of Switzerland to what is now UBS.[3] The new bank, of which he became CEO, was then the second-largest bank in the world.[4]

Ospel stepped down as CEO in 2001 to become chairman of the board of directors, but retained tight operational control over UBS.[3] In this role, he refused to continue financing the ailing national airline Swissair and was considered by many to share responsibility for its collapse in 2001.[2][4] His annual salary of up to CHF 26 million – exceptional in Switzerland but less so in international banking – was another topic of frequent controversy during his tenure as chairman.[2]

In the 2000s, Ospel pursued an aggressive growth strategy in investment banking and structured finance, acquiring Paine Webber among others, and was considered to be one of the most powerful men in Switzerland.[4] But his strategy resulted in CHF 80 billion of losses to UBS[4] with the collapse of UBS's Dillon Read investment bank during the global financial crisis. Ospel was forced to resign in April 2008, following pressure by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, and UBS had to seek a government bailout in October 2008.[2] In retirement, Ospel remained active as a private investor,[3] but remained a target of public criticism and occasional protests on account of his former salary and his leadership of UBS.[4]

Personal life

Ospel was born to a middle-class family in Basel. He later lived in Wollerau, Canton of Schwyz.[2]

Ospel died on 26 April 2020 of cancer at his home in Wollerau.[5][4][6][7] He is survived by his third wife Adriana Bodmer and his six children.[2]


Events Participated in

Bilderberg/200124 May 200127 May 2001Sweden
The 49th Bilderberg, in Sweden. Reported on the WWW.
WEF/Annual Meeting/200421 January 200425 January 2004World Economic Forum
2068 billionaires, CEOs and their politicians and "civil society" leaders met under the slogan Partnering for Prosperity and Security. "We have the people who matter," said World Economic Forum Co-Chief Executive Officer José María Figueres.
WEF/Annual Meeting/200625 January 200629 January 2006SwitzerlandBoth former US president Bill Clinton and Bill Gates pushed for public-private partnerships. Only a few of the over 2000 participants are known.
WEF/Annual Meeting/200724 January 200728 January 2007World Economic Forum
Only the 449 public figures listed of ~2200 participants
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