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New UBS boss Grubel follows global ad relaunch with Formula One deal

Veteran Swiss banker Oswald Grubel may have been winched out of retirement to take the reins at bank UBS but he’s certainly getting a move on in his efforts to revive the flagging giant which was hammered in the credit crunch.

Hot on the heels of launching a global ad campaign by Publicis claiming that UBS ‘will not rest’ until its clients’ fortunes are restored Gruber has now announced that the company is to move into Formula One sponsorship as the fourth ‘global partner’ alongside Allianz, DHL and electronics brand LG. The deal starts from next month’s Singapore Grand Prix, a suitably moneyed venue.

It’s not clear at this stage if UBS will be sponsoring a team as part of its sponsorship package (Credit Suisse sponsored the Swiss Sauber team when Grubel ran that) but Grubel says that F1 will give the bank global exposure (of a good kind) and be very handy for entertaining the rich individuals it hopes to woo back after losing many of them when the US government succeeded in extracting information on a large number of UBS account holders.

The news will be welcome for F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and his paymasters at private equity outfit CVC who have seen banks ING, RBS and Credit Suisse all pull their sponsorship in recent months.

As for UBS it seems to be trying to replicate Santander’s efforts in the mass banking market where it builds all its communications (to mixed effect) around McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton.

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Or maybe Ossie just likes going to the grand prix.

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