UBS review spurs exit of marcomms boss Kafka

Paul Kafka, the former Goldman Sachs European communications boss, has left his job as head of marketing communications at Swiss banking giant UBS.

Paul Kafka, the former Goldman Sachs European communications boss, has left his job as head of marketing communications at Swiss banking giant UBS.

Kafka made a high-profile move to the bank in mid-2010, but PRWeek UK understands he left last week after his role was put at risk of redundancy.

It is thought that Kafka sent an email to certain UBS staffers saying he was leaving to “seek new challenges and lead a more balanced lifestyle.”

UBS declined to comment on Kafka's departure.

Although Kafka's role spanned elements of both marketing and communications, it is thought he had primarily concentrated on reforming the bank's marketing operations. Dominik von Arx, global head of investment bank communications and  head of EMEA media relations, has led UBS' communications on investment banking issues.

Kafka was hired by Carsten Kengeter, former UBS Investment Bank co-CEO, and supported Kengeter's internal communications.

However, Kengeter has since left the bank's executive team and is now leading the process of winding down its non-core fixed-income activities.

As part of the restructuring, UBS announced 10,000 staffers would depart as it looked to concentrate on wealth management and a more focused range of investment banking activities. It is thought that since his arrival, Kafka oversaw the outsourcing of some of the investment bank's marketing execution to Ogilvy – an arrangement that  is no longer in place.

Andrea Orcel, appointed sole investment bank CEO last November, is thought to have his own team around him.

Orcel is thought to be close to von Arx, who – according to one insider – “further strengthened his reputation” with his “deft” handling of the UBS “rogue trader” trial last year. Kweku Adoboli was sentenced to seven years in prison last November over fraud charges. Also late last year, the bank agreed to pay a fine of $1.5 billion for manipulation of the Libor interbank lending rate.

Kafka joined UBS after four years at Goldman as European corporate communications director. He has also led corporate affairs at the London Stock Exchange.

This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK, the sister publication of PRWeek at Haymarket Media.

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