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Schaefer grew up in Switzerland. He is a Swiss national who began his career in 1983 at Swiss Volksbank (now Credit Suisse). Upon graduation from the Swiss Banking School, a division of the Swiss Finance Institute, he became manager of the Swiss Bank office in Los Angeles in 1994. Two years later, Swiss Bank took over UBS (the largest bank in Switzerland). The surviving entity was UBS. Schaefer was placed in charge of operations for the western United States. In 1997, he was named deputy CEO of all UBS private banking operations in the United States. At the time, UBS oversaw two trillion dollars in assets with private banking at the core.
He stunned his family and gave up banking in 2000 to join Oscar De La Hoya's fledgling business organization, to help the young boxer "build up a business empire." Schaefer first focused on the business of managing fighters, but soon switched tracks to the more lucrative event promotion business, lining up deals for boxing matches for Latino television audiences. More recently, Schaefer and De La Hoya have branched out into real estate. Schaefer has other links to Hispanic culture as well: His wife is from Mexico.
- Hauser, Thomas. "Richard Schaefer and The Golden Boy Empire". USA Boxing News.
- Howard, Fine. "Swiss ringer: Richard Schaefer broke with his bankingbackground to become Oscar De La Hoya's businesspartner.". All Business. Retrieved 27 December 2011.