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UBS’s Weber center stage as Santander-Orcel court battle resumes

UBS Chairman Axel Weber is expected to take centre stage in a court battle that erupted after Spain’s Santander withdrew a multimillion-euro offer to the Swiss lender’s former top investment banker to be its CEO. Italian banker Andrea Orcel is suing Spain’s largest lender. This is after it dropped the job offer almost three years ago in a dispute over his pay package. The case revolves around whether a four-page offer letter to Orcel was a binding contract or a non-binding initial offer. Santander said that the bank could not meet Orcel’s pay demands such as covering up to 35 million euros. Sources told that Weber, was a key figure in the case. The ruling could take days or weeks to be released.

Orcel originally sought as much as 112 million euros. This is for breach of contract and damage to his career from the last-minute U-turn. But he dropped the part of his legal claim that would require the Spanish bank to hire him. This is after he was appointed as the CEO of Italy’s UniCredit. He also cut his demand to 66-76 million euros. The proceedings were suspended after Orcel’s lawyer asked Weber and Mark Shelton to testify. Other witnesses pending in the hearing are Santander’s general secretary Jaime Perez Renovales. He is the one who signed Orcel’s original job offer. Another one is Roberto di Bernardini, the Spanish bank‘s head of human resources at the time.

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