Credit Suisse: Why «One» Is Taking a Break Now

Tidjane Thiam has kept his word: since taking up the job as CEO at Switzerland's second-biggest bank, he has initiated fundamental changes. The case of a staff magazine shows just how deep the change process is going.

In the last edition of «One», a Credit Suisse (CS) staff magazine, Tidjane Thiam is shown shaking hands at the investor relations unit in Zurich, beaming on the first day at his new job. Since then – silence.

There has been no new issue of the quarterly magazine since the autumn of 2015 – raising suspicions that the publication of «One» had been stopped. Of course, canceling a staff magazine would be of no surprise given the sweeping cost cuts at the bank.

Relaunch of the Magazine

Not so, says the bank. A spokesperson told finews.ch that the publication has been suspended and the design and strategy were under review. Costs were not the reason behind this process, the spokesperson said.

The reorganization of the bank, with four units – for instance International Wealth Management and the Swiss Universal Bank – is the reason for the rethink. The magazine has to represent the changed structure of the bank, both in terms of its content as well as its concept. The old «One» doesn't fit the new CS – that much became clear in the reevaluation of the magazine.

Communications Tool

Staff magazines are important to improve the employees identification with their employer. And they are valuable means of communication for strategic and business-related matters at a bank that is spread out across the continents. «One» could be a useful tool for Thiam to express his visions and explain the measures implemented.

The communications department at the bank insists that the work to restructure the bank enjoys a higher priority. The evaluation of «One» is still ongoing. Peter Goerke, who followed Thiam from Prudential to CS as his communications and brand guru, is overseeing the process.

Taking a Break

Previously, Pamela Thomas-Graham used to be responsible of the magazine. She is now in charge of opening the bank to new customer target groups, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual communities (LGBT).

So, «One» is being relaunched. But while this is the courant normal in the media, it is rather more surprising that there should be such a pause between the last 'old' and the first 'new' editions.

However, while «One» is taking a break, CS says that employees still have the «Bulletin» to refer to.

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