Swiss Giant, Credit Suisse Group AG (CS) Names Tidjane Thiam As Its New CEO


Global financial services company, Credit Suisse Group AG (ADR) (NYSE:CS), has appointed Tidjane Thiam to take over the reins as CEO. The step will become effective in June when the current CEO, Brady Dougan, retires. The appointment of Thiam, an insurance executive, is expected to accelerate the balancing of capital allocation between the investment bank and wealth management operations.

Thiam is joining Credit from the U.K. insurance company known as Prudential (PUK), which he joined in 2008 and rose to the position of top executive in 2009. His leadership at the insurer has seen strong growth in Prudential’s share price. Prior to joining Prudential, Thiam worked with Aviva, an insurance group, and McKinsey, a management consultancy firm. Thiam, a France educated insurance executive, was also a government minister in the  Ivory Coast, his native country.

Commenting on the appointment of the new CEO, Credit Suisse Group AG (ADR) (NYSE:CS)’s Chairman, Urs Rohner, praised the move. He said Thiam’s international experience is important for the bank, especially in attaining its goal of balancing capital allocation.

Balancing investment

Credit Suisse Group AG (ADR) (NYSE:CS) has mainly focused on investment banking, but the company wants to adjust its strategy so that it has 50-50 capital allocation between investment banking and wealth management. Rohner further disclosed that there are high growth prospects in the global wealth management business.

The news about the executive changes at Credit excited investors, leading to a sharp rise in the bank’s share price.

The appointment of Thiam to lead Credit Suisse Group AG (ADR) (NYSE:CS) will make him the second black CEO of a global bank. The first black man to lead a global financial services company was Stanley O’Neal, who headed Merrill Lynch until 2007, marking a five-year stint at the helm of the institution.

Regulatory scrutiny

Credit Suisse Group AG (ADR) (NYSE:CS) is one of the global banks dealing with legacy issues. The bank has been accused of selling toxic investment securities just before the financial crisis. Last month, Credit set aside nearly $280 million to address the potential legal challenges linked to the allegations.

The bank also had to pay $2.6 billion to settle claims that it was helping customers to avoid paying taxes.

Neha Gupta

Neha Gupta has been in the financial space for over six years now. Gupta earned her MBA degree from Symbiosis Centre of Distance Learning in 2009 and her passion for finance led her to pursue Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) course. She has successfully completed Level II of her CFA. She is a veteran in article writing, which is depicted in her numerous pieces published on SeekingAlpha, Nextiphonenews, InsiderMonkey, MarketWatch, and Techinsider. Her crisp and eloquent writing finds its best place in Researchcows, where emphasis is given on developing rich content for various websites, products, business plans, trainings, and book writing.

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