UBS names Japan country head and Asia vice-chairman

UBS has named Toshiharu Kojima as its first-ever country head for Japan, as well as chairman and chief executive of UBS Securities in Tokyo. Timothy Chia will become Asia vice-chairman of the investment banking division in Singapore.

Kojima succeeds Mark Branson as chief executive, who in February 2008 moved to Zurich as chief financial officer for the Swiss bank's global wealth management and business banking divisions.

Since 2006 Kojima had been running his own private office, and before that was vice-chairman of Citigroup Principal Investments in Japan.

As country head, he advises Rory Tapner, Hong Kong-based chairman and chief executive for Asia-Pacific on formulating and implementing the Swiss bank's strategy in Japan. Kojima also helps develop strategies for the wealth and asset management businesses, and leads UBS' governmental and regulatory relationships and charity and community affairs programmes.

Subject to the relaxation of Japanese firewall regulations - scheduled for June 2009 - Kojima will, in his capacity as country head, assume direct executive responsibility for the management of all UBS' business groups in Japan.

He reports to Tapner and UBS global chairman and chief executive Jerker Johansson.

Meanwhile, Chia will continue his day-to-day responsibilities as deputy chairman and group chief executive at Singapore-based Hup Soon Global Corporation, which distributes industrial equipment and supplies and energy solutions.

At UBS, he will oversee significant client relationships, major transactions and important strategic initiatives in Asia.

Chia succeeds Robin Tomlin, who will continue as a senior adviser to the bank.

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