Top Firm Reorganizes Investment Bank, Merges Asset Management & Private Banking

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It will reorganize its investment bank and merge asset management with the private bank to save costs and reduce complexity.

Credit Suisse announced changes in its organizational structure and to its Executive Board Tuesday.

The Private Banking and Asset Management Divisions will be combined to form the Private Banking & Wealth Management Division. Hans-Ulrich Meister and Robert Shafir will partner in leading this division.

Meister will be Head of Private Banking with responsibility for running the Swiss franchise and the Private Banking client businesses in EMEA and Asia Pacific. The Swiss franchise includes offshore and onshore Swiss Private Banking with the segments Wealth Management & Private Clients Switzerland, Premium Clients Switzerland & Global External Asset Managers, and Corporate & Institutional Clients. As regional CEO, Hans-Ulrich Meister will also continue to have responsibility for all businesses and clients in the bank’s Swiss home market.

Shafir will be Head of Private Banking & Wealth Management Products. This includes responsibility for the current asset management products, Investment Services & Products, CS Trust and Research. In addition, he will be responsible for the Private Banking client business in the Americas. Robert Shafir will also continue to serve as the CEO of the Americas region for the bank.

The Investment Banking securities platform in Switzerland will be moved into Private Banking & Wealth Management and report to Shafir and to Meister. The Solution Partners group will also report jointly to Meister and Shafir.

Eric Varvel and Gael de Boissard will partner in leading the Investment Banking Division. Varvel will continue to lead and oversee the management of the Equities & Investment Banking Department businesses. De Boissard will focus on the management of the Fixed Income Department. In addition, Varvel will serve as CEO of the Asia Pacific region. Varvel has longtime experience in these countries, which makes him ideally suited for this role. Gael de Boissard will take on responsibility as CEO of the EMEA region and, subject to regulatory approval, will also be CEO of the UK entities Credit Suisse International and Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) Limited. This is consistent with regulators’ preference to have effective alignment between legal entities and management structure. Gael de Boissard will join the Executive Board of the bank as of January 1, 2013.

Urs Rohner, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Credit Suisse, said: 'The momentum we have with clients and our financial performance over the first nine months of 2012 clearly indicate that our evolved strategy is working. We have transitioned to the new capital regime, substantially reduced risk-weighted assets, balance sheet size and expenses and we have rebalanced resources towards our higher returning businesses. The changes announced today are a stepping-up of our strategy. They will better align product development, advice and distribution and they will further reduce complexity across the bank for the benefit of all our clients and stakeholders. We are convinced they will help us focus on our strengths in our chosen businesses and markets globally. The new structure will create one of the world’s leading integrated wealth management businesses and one of the first global investment banks that is in alignment with the new regulatory reality'.

Brady Dougan, Chief Executive Officer of Credit Suisse, said: 'We have made good progress in acting early and proactively to adapt our businesses to a fundamentally changed environment. We have restructured our investment banking model resulting in a high returning, lower risk, client oriented business. Our private banking model is highly scalable and suited for the new regulatory environment. And we have sharpened the focus of our Asset Management business. The changes announced today represent the next step in the continued development of our businesses towards achieving the targets that we have laid out'.

He added: 'Four very experienced members of the Executive Board will lead our two core businesses and the four regions. This streamlined structure will help us to accelerate the execution of our business strategy – including continued growth in our market share with our clients, reallocation of capital towards a better balance between Private Banking & Wealth Management and Investment Banking, and further progress in reducing costs. Within the new Private Banking & Wealth Management Division, we will better serve our clients by having a single product development platform aligned to meet their needs, complemented by integrated distribution.

'Within the Investment Banking Division, the new structure reflects the importance of the Equities and Investment Banking advisory and underwriting businesses and also recognizes the progress we have made in evolving our Fixed Income business to the new environment and the strength of this business for Credit Suisse. This streamlined structure will produce further synergies and help reduce expenses across the bank. And the alignment of regional and divisional management supports our integrated bank structure, driving cross-divisional and cross-regional collaboration and revenue opportunities'.

The changes announced Tuesday mean that the roles of dedicated CEO Asia Pacific and EMEA no longer exist. Osama Abbasi and Fawzi Kyriakos-Saad, who serve as CEOs for those two regions, are leaving the firm. Walter Berchtold, Chairman Private Banking, has also informed us that he will be stepping down from his position and leave Credit Suisse after 30 years.

Urs Rohner and Brady Dougan said: 'We would like to thank Walter, Fawzi and Osama for their hard work and commitment. We regret very much that this reorganization leads to them leaving the firm. They are outstanding executives who have contributed significantly to the progress of Credit Suisse over many years'.

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