Chair, UBS Ltd.
As a lifelong languages enthusiast, Richard Hardie of UBS Ltd. is leading Speak to the future’s drive to involve business in speaking up for languages. You can find out more in our businesses area.
Richard read History and French at Lincoln College, Oxford, and is a chartered accountant. In 1977 he joined the Corporate Finance Department of SG Warburg & Co. which ultimately became part of the global financial services firm, UBS Group. His last executive role was as Chief Operating Officer for UBS Investment Bank in EMEA. Richard became a non-executive Director in 2006 and Chair in 2011. He speaks fluent French, and passable Italian and German.
Richard is very active in supporting community and education initiatives, working with, amongst others, Business in the Community, the Learning Trust (Hackney’s LEA, which he Chairs), and Heart of the City, a programme funded by the City Corporation under which large companies mentor smaller ones in the establishment of their Corporate Social Responsibility programmes.
“Learning other languages and exploring other worlds of culture is invaluable. Yet language skills seem to be becoming increasingly the preserve of the independent education sector. This can’t be right, for so many reasons, and not just for young people in the State system but also for UBS as it does not reflect the cultural and economic backgrounds of an increasing number of our clients. I strongly back the Speak to the future campaign and am actively encouraging other businesses to do so. It is vital that we speak out in order to reverse the calamitous decline in language study of recent years.”