Peter Wuffli has replaced Lugman Arnold as president of UBS, just nine months after Arnold was named president.

Wuffli was CEO of UBS Asset Management, the firm's mutual fund and institutional asset management unit. That position has been filled by John Fraser, who was president and COO of the group. The reason behind Arnold's departure remains somewhat unclear.

The company said a "difference of opinion" was the driving factor but would not specify or comment on what those differences were, only stating that "There are no financial, operational or control issues behind it."

Arnold became president nine months ago when then-president Marcel Ospel was made chairman of the firm's board of directors.

UBS also announced that John Costas, president and COO of UBS Warburg, the firm's investment banking and wealth management unit, has been named CEO of that unit, and is responsible for its day-to-day operations. All of the management changes are effective immediately.

Finally, UBS announced that UBS PaineWebber, the private client business unit of UBS Warburg, will become a separate business unit in 2002. UBS PaineWebber will now focus on building a single global wealth management platform for UBS together with UBS Private Banking.

To help coordinate that initiative, the firm has created a Wealth Management Board. The board will be chaired by Joseph Grano, CEO of UBS PaineWebber.

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