Day One For Tidjane Thiam CEO Of Credit Suisse

Today is the official start date for the new CEO of Credit Suisse Tidjane Thiam, although according to reports out of Zurich Mr Thiam surprised staff as he arrived a week early. Perhaps though it was because he believes there is so much work to be done.

Credit Suisse shareholders will be eager to hear from Thiam hopeful that he will quickly outline his vision for the bank whose profitability trails both UBS and Julius Baer. Credit Suisse cost income ratios are also said to be among the worst of the large European banks, so surely the less productive low hanging fruit will have to be trimmed and quickly.

Most observers are pointing to the template now in place at UBS as a pointer. Axel Weber the UBS Group AG Chairman took the knife to cut away the fat of the securities business and made wealth management the centre of gravity of Switzerland’s largest bank. The results appear to have been positive.

The private wealth business of Credit Suisse will also surely be the biggest beneficiary of Thiam’s future plans. As a person who achieved great success in the competitive global insurance industry he clearly understands the refinements required to create a winning consumer based business.

Many also believe that Credit Suisse has been keeping a low profile due to historical issues like tax evasion cases and that the timing is now more appropriate for Thiam to take the lead and push forward the resurgence of that business.

Asia and in particular the private banking and closely related business segments should not fare too badly, after all the growth and demographics support the APAC region more than any other and Tidjane Thiam knows the region well, he is also a fan of growth. However there could be changes soon as Thiam may be looking to calibrate the current management structures of the global and Asian wealth business by bringing in his own management choices, individuals who worked closely with him before, to expedite both growth and a more commercial cultural environment.







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