Complete restructuring in store for Credit Suisse

The reorganization of Credit Suisse is expected to proceed as predicted. CEO Tidjane Thiam will seize the moment to boost the share price. The most important man in Asia is someone already tipped by finews.ch.

Credit Suisse boss Tidjane Thiam will break up the centralized organization of the big bank, according to a report in the Schweiz am Sonntag (article in German) newspaper. In future the regions are to be strengthened.

It is widely expected in the sector that Thiam will use the one-off momentum when he announces his strategy plans on October 21st to boost the share price significantly with one strike.

After all, Thiam joined the Swiss bank on the strength of his record of having tripled the share price of his former employer, the British insurer Prudential, during his time at the helm.

Promotion in Asia

At his presentation in two weeks Thiam will more than likely present some personal changes too. It is expected that the current head of operations in Asia, Helman Sitohang (pictured above), will be appointed to the executive board.

This strong possibility was reported by finews.ch in summer (article in German). Investment banker Sitohang is very well connected in South East Asia and has a reputation as a so-called rainmaker. That means he lands big clients and contracts, particularly in his home country.

Clear regionalization trend

Most of the big banks are seeing a regionalization trend in Asia. Swiss bosses are being cleared to make way for ‘locals’. Julius Bär (article in German) is the most recent example, where the long-standing Asia boss Thomas ‘Tom’ Meier was replaced by the Singapore banker Jimmy Lee.

UBS has had a valued ‘local’ Edmund Koh at the top for several years. This development is now apparently being followed by CS too.

The United States is also expected to receive a new regional boss, another investment banker: Timothy O’Hara is tipped as the most likely candidate for the top job, according to Schweiz am Sonntag. It is foreseeable that the current Private Banking head (alongside Hans-Ulrich Meister) Robert Shafir will depart. He was a close ally of the former CEO Brady Dougan.

Meister’s position should on the other hand be strengthened. He gets on very well with Thiam.

Spectacular change in personnel department?

There is also speculation about a dramatic change in the leadership of marketing and human resources, the newspaper reports. This would see Pamela Thomas-Graham – also a close ally of Dougan’s – lose her post in the executive board.

Thomas-Graham could well be replaced by Peter Görke, who worked for Thiam in Prudential and left at the same time as his boss. Görke has already received a desk at CS and is pulling the strings in personnel.

Thriving corporate bank

In the course of the restructuring, so-called Shared Services is expected to be moved from Zurich to the overseas regions. That would significantly increase the status of the regions and lead to job losses in Switzerland, specifically in Zurich. CS wants to grow in Asia particularly, where it is already successfully following the ‘business bank’ model.

Under this business model, much vaunted in CS advertising, private bankers and investment bankers work closely together. Opinions differ on the outlook for success of this concept. The fact is that no other bank has implemented it as far as CS.

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