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UBS has got a new way of keeping 20,000 technologists happy

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Like most big banks, UBS has a lot of people in its technology function. – Around 20,000 of its 72,000 employees work in technology globally. Also like other big banks, UBS is looking to prune its technology spending while simultaneously preventing its technologists from leaving for jobs elsewhere. 

Speaking last week, UBS CEO Ralph Hamers said the bank wants to streamline its technology function while building an “engineering culture” that’s “driven by engineers” instead of by managers and project managers. It’s possible to do more effective engineering work with fewer people, Hamers added.

Hamers comments come on the back of a shakeup of UBS’s engineering hierarchy which has seen the emergence of a new career path for its developers. 

In 2018, the bank introduced the concept of “distinguished engineers” used by banks like Morgan Stanley to differentiate its most skilled and influential engineers. It then expanded this to include a higher…

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