UBS highest-paid banker is U.S. brokerage head

ZURICH Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:23am EDT

Robert McCann, the Chief Executive Officer of UBS Wealth Management Americas (WMA) and a Member of the Group Executive Board of UBS AG, speaks at the Reuters Wealth Management in New York, November 1, 2010. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Robert McCann, the Chief Executive Officer of UBS Wealth Management Americas (WMA) and a Member of the Group Executive Board of UBS AG, speaks at the Reuters Wealth Management in New York, November 1, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

ZURICH (Reuters) - UBS (UBSN.VX) paid U.S. brokerage chief Robert McCann nearly 9.2 million Swiss francs ($9.9 million) overall last year, with the executive usurping investment banking head Carsten Kengeter as the Swiss bank's highest earner.

Pay for McCann and other top executives and board members was revealed in UBS's annual report on Thursday. UBS said last month Kengeter agreed to forgo his bonus for last year after a $2 billion rogue trading scandal. As a result, UBS does not have to reveal Kengeter's pay.

Total pay for Sergio Ermotti, named chief executive in November after Oswald Gruebel quit over the trading scandal, was nearly 6.4 million Swiss francs in 2011, including more than 4 million francs in various immediate and deferred cash and share-based bonus payments.

Incoming chairman, former Bundesbank president Axel Weber, will earn 2 million Swiss francs and 200,000 UBS shares, which translates to roughly 2.6 million at current market value, annually. Weber will also get a one-time payment equal to a year's salary when he joins the board in May.

The Bern Declaration, or EvB, a Swiss non-governmental organization, praised Kengeter for giving up his bonus, but blasted the bank for what it termed an "absurd" advance payment for incoming chairman Weber.

A spokeswoman for Switzerland's left-wing Social Democrats wasn't immediately available for comment.

UBS's net profit in 2011 fell nearly 45 percent to 4.16 billion Swiss francs, which the bank restated 74 million Swiss francs lower to account for offloading credit default swap contracts to a monoline insurer in the United States.

The bank repeated statements made last year that it enjoys conditional civil immunity and won't be prosecuted in return for cooperating with a wide-ranging international regulatory probe into whether investment banks manipulated Libor, a global benchmark rate. This effectively caps potential damages UBS may face if the probe turns up evidence of wrong-doing.

UBS's cooperation doesn't protect it from class-action lawsuits already filed in a U.S. federal court.

British rival Barclays (BARC.L) said last week it may face regulatory action relating to the probe, and is in talks about a resolution with some of the authorities involved.

Meanwhile Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) said in its annual report that some of its staff were also being investigated but it had substantial defenses to claims arising from the probe.

($1=0.9312 Swiss francs)

(Reporting By Katharina Bart; Editing by Mike Nesbit and Erica Billingham)

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