* Weder di Mauro is former World Bank, IMF economist
* Romy is international litigation and arbitration
(Adds comment from Weder di Mauro, analyst comment.)
By Katharina Bart
ZURICH, Feb 3 Swiss bank UBS
wants two Swiss women to join its board to beef up its central
banking and legal expertise as chairman Kaspar Villiger and
former Swiss National Bank governor Bruno Gehrig prepare to exit
UBS said on Friday it would put Beatrice Weder di Mauro and
Isabelle Romy up for election at May's shareholder meeting, as
the 65-year-old Gehrig steps down.
Villiger, a former Swiss finance minister, had previously
said he would not seek re-election after proposing former
Bundesbank president Axel Weber as his successor.
Weder di Mauro has been an economist for the World Bank and
the International Monetary Fund, as well as being part of the
German government's panel of economic advisors since 2004.
Touted as a potential SNB governor after president Philipp
Hildebrand resigned last month after a scandal over his wife's
currency trading, Weder di Mauro made clear she is increasingly
seeking private sector work as opposed to public service. Weder
di Mauro said she had asked the German government not to appoint
her for another term in order to "avoid the appearance of a
conflict of interest".
She is also on the board of Swiss drugmaker Roche
and German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp.
Romy is an academic and partner at Swiss securities law firm
Nieder Kraft & Frey, where she specialises in international
litigation and arbitration. She has also served as a federal
judge and member of the Swiss bourse's sanctions committee, a
regulatory enforcement body.
Incoming chairman Axel Weber supports both nominations, UBS
said. Weber, set to become chairman at the May meeting, already
holds considerable sway, according to bank insiders.
Currently, former Northern Rock and Swiss Re financial head
Ann Godbehere is the only woman on UBS's board after Sally Bott
left a year ago to join Barclays.
The appointments were welcomed by Zuercher Kantonalbank
analyst Andreas Venditti.
"From their profiles, Weder di Mauro and Romy are suitable
candidates with two very different professional fields of
expertise. This will be valuable to UBS," Venditti said. He
rates UBS at marketweight.
(Additional reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Dan Lalor
and Will Waterman)