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Tension at UBS between a tech-focused CEO and a more traditionally minded exec highlights the very real hurdles of digital transformation-spurred growth.  

Implementing a digital overhaul involves more than just technical challenges: It requires a cultural shift that relies on buy-in from an entire organization.  

There’s in-fighting at UBS between CEO Ralph Hamers, who aims to use technology to expand the bank’s breadth, and the head of UBS’ wealth business, Iqbal Khan, who favors a more high-touch and traditional approach, according to a sweeping Bloomberg report.  

The report paints UBS, which has maintained steady returns, as caught in a power struggle between those who embrace Hamers’ vision for algorithm-driven expansion to a broader subset of potential clients, versus those who want to abide by Khan’s remit to build relationships “not with machines, but with people.” 

Hamers’ digital vision faced a significant setback when UBS’ $1.4 billion acquisition of robo-advisor Wealthfront was abruptly cancelled last month. It remains to be seen whether Hamers’ digital push and customer expansion ambitions will win out over Khan’s influence.   

Read the rest of the Bloomberg piece here