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Executive Leadership Development Program at UBS

Coniferous forest by the water
Financial Services
Talent Management
Transformational Leadership


UBS Wealth Management and Business Banking is the world’s leading wealth manager, as well as the market leader in Switzerland in retail and commercial banking. Impact worked to develop executive key talents through a unique leadership learning experience, aligned with UBS's values and challenges.


Following an intensive organization-wide dialogue, ‘Leading for Growth’, which set a compelling leadership agenda, the ‘Executive Leadership Development Experience’ was initiated to give selected executive key talents the opportunity to improve their personal leadership impact.

Executive key talents are already at executive director or managing director level with long-standing line manager experience. The program objectives were for them to:

  • Systematically identify their strengths and areas for development
  • Maximize their individual potential as a leader
  • Work on personal leadership challenges 
  • Receive ongoing coaching over the period of a year as they follow this development path.

Impact worked in close partnership with the UBS Learning & Development Centre team in Zurich to design a unique learning experience that formed the centrepiece of a one-year development path.

At the heart of the development was a three-day learning retreat, designed to provide individuals with an accurate snapshot of their current leadership effectiveness through a challenging experience and intensive feedback from experienced managers in the bank, peers and external coaches.

Participants experienced a sophisticated, exciting and challenging leadership simulation built around the real challenges of the business, growth, dynamics in an emerging market, client-centric approach and the need for an integrated business model. During the simulation, participants dealt with crises and deadlines in real time, culminating in a strategy and leadership dialogue with a member of the UBS Group Managing Board and a presentation to a fictional client delegation - headed up by a world famous actor!

The learning experience concluded with a contrasting period of self-reflection in a Benedictine monastery.

What came after the learning retreat was most important... structured feedback on the leadership competencies demonstrated, a development plan with their line manager, ongoing coaching sessions with their executive coach and the opportunity to be observed in action by a fellow participant on a leadership job-shadowing experience.


'What we especially appreciated in working with Impact was having a truly experienced design partner who dared to ask relevant questions about the main strategic agenda of our firm.

This ensured that we came up with a highly elaborate and very real development platform on which the participants were facing UBS business dilemmas and really needed to take on leadership.

Our executive key talents certainly enjoyed the highly challenging three days and we are convinced that it will help them on their way to becoming the top leaders of tomorrow.'

Patrick Wolf, Key Talent Leadership Development

See what our customers say about us
Lynne Atkin
HR Director
"The success of the Emerging Leaders Programme has exceeded my expectations. The content is relevant, the selection process is rigorous - and it delivers. We are seeing a clear increase in leadership capability within this talent population. This is now coming to fruition as we see more and more individuals who attend the programme going on to take on more demanding roles - be that within their current level or to more senior roles. The programme is recognised by our Executive Team as talent enabler."
Adam Eaton
Director of Group Management
"These experiential development projects deliver significant benefit; connectivity to the company’s purpose, ‘prosperity and peace of mind’, a tangible sense of well- being and rapid team formation. Impact have delivered some extremely well organised projects that have had a very beneficial effect on the local community.”
Afroditi Bousnakis
National Head of Learning & Development
BDO Australia
"Focusing on our principals, this programme was to be dynamic and challenging, featuring leadership and business development elements aswell as opportunities to drive our strategy, mission and values. For this reason, we decided to partner with the team at Impact and The Talea Group to collaboratively scheme this long-term programme we now call Apex."