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Credit Suisse poaches Prudential’s Thiam for Asia push

ZURICH/LONDON/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Credit Suisse has swooped on Prudential trainer Tidjane Thiam to reinstate arch executive Brady Dougan – seen to have unsuccessful in reforming a Swiss bank quick adequate – in sequence to pull into resources supervision of a flourishing multi-millionaires bar in Asia.

Thiam, 52, has driven Prudential’s enlargement into a same segment given 2009 and a success in offered word products there has trebled a firm’s share price. Although a former Ivory Coast supervision apportion has never run a bank, his knowledge of traffic with financial regulators is also seen by shareholders and analysts as an advantage given a raft of new manners that have been introduced post-financial crisis.

Dougan, 55, had been criticised for not paring behind Credit Suisse’s investment bank adequate after a introduction of tellurian law that forced banks to reason some-more collateral in a eventuality of destiny problems ate into a business’s returns.

The American is withdrawal after 25 years during a bank and 8 as CEO, when he was one of a world’s highest-paid bankers with his income commanding 90 million Swiss francs (60 million pounds) in one year. More recently, he had embarked on several rounds of cost-cutting.

“Thiam has no banking knowledge though it could be that an alien can make some of a decisions they were not means to make internally,” pronounced one financier in Credit Suisse, who asked not to be named given she was not certified to pronounce to a press.

Credit Suisse Chairman Urs Rohner pronounced Dougan was stepping down during a finish of Jun and would be transposed by Thiam, who became a initial black CEO of a FTSE 100 association when he changed to a tip pursuit during Prudential from insurer Aviva.

Originally from Ivory Coast, Thiam left in his early 30s after a manoeuvre there and assimilated consulting organization McKinsey Co in Paris – creation him now a third ex-McKinsey member on Credit Suisse’s 10-person executive board. People who have worked with him pronounced he has a pointy genius and deals good with regulators and colleagues.

Investors pushed Credit Suisse shares adult 7 percent by midday. Though Thiam unsuccessful in his try to take over Asia-focused insurer AIA in 2010 after a shareholder rebellion, he is still seen as carrying brought value to Prudential by focussing on Asia as a pivotal distinction driver.

That also spurred an expectancy that he will cut a investment bank hard, finally. Credit Suisse’s European rivals like UBS have been faster to cringe this partial of their business and concentration instead on other areas of strength.

“Thiam’s credentials in word and item supervision suggests Credit Suisse’s concentration is relocating increasingly divided from investment banking,” pronounced a UK-based account manager, who declined to be identified given he was not certified to pronounce to a press. The account manager was reviewing his position after offered a bank’s shares on concerns about collateral requirements.

Rohner pronounced Thiam’s general experience, quite in resources and item supervision and building new markets, laid a substructure for his appointment, that was reported overnight by several news outlets including Reuters.

“With Tidjane Thiam, a clever and renowned personality with an considerable lane record in a tellurian financial services attention will take a helm of a bank,” Rohner said.


Credit Suisse has battled several problems underneath Dougan, who also faced calls to quit final year when a bank reached a $2.5 billion allotment with U.S. authorities for assisting Americans hedge taxes around tip bank accounts.

The bank’s house corroborated him over that understanding – underneath that Credit Suisse pleaded guilty to rapist charges though kept a New York looseness and a legally stable customer information – though he was criticised by some politicians and media in Switzerland.

The Illinois local was also criticised for adhering with an investment banking plan when regulators and politicians noticed that business as too unsure and Swiss regulators imposed worse collateral manners on their banks than other countries.

Dougan, whose depart leaves JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon and Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein as a usually dual tellurian CEOs still in place given a financial crisis, pronounced on Tuesday he had “tremendous respect” for his replacement.

Sally Yim, clamp boss during Moody’s Investors Service, pronounced before Thiam’s appointment was reliable that Credit Suisse indispensable someone with “with a different credentials (who) could demeanour during a plan with a uninformed span of eyes.”

Unlike Dougan, Thiam speaks French, that will assistance to build bridges with Swiss politicians heedful of bankers after carrying to bail them out during a financial crisis.

“Now (Swiss President Simonetta) Sommaruga has somebody she can pronounce with in a inhabitant language,” pronounced one former Credit Suisse banker, vocalization on condition of anonymity.

Thiam is also during home with a universe of politics – he says he once incited down an offer to be primary apportion of his local Ivory Coast. Jean-Marie Kouassi Ahoussou, comparison editor of Ivorian journal L’Inter, who worked with Thiam when he was a politician, told Reuters he “didn’t rest on his laurels”.

Credit Suisse is doubtful to have been a usually organization to have courted Thiam while he has been during Prudential, that declined to criticism on a news that he had formerly been approached to join a World Bank.

However, in many respects, Thiam is not a standard financial attention CEO.

A fan of English football bar Arsenal, he also lists ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky as his favourite book and his tip strain is Tadieu Bone by Ismael Lo, a guitarist from Senegal, his father’s country.

He chose marks by Stevie Wonder and Frank Sinatra when he seemed dual years ago on BBC Radio’s Desert Island Discs – a renouned programme where guest suppose themselves as castaways with usually a few choices of song and a singular luxury. His was a solar powered ice cream maker.

Asked on that uncover how he felt heading people, Thiam said: “It’s a bit like walking a tightrope given we feel all these expectations around we and it’s frequency comfortable. If we unequivocally trust in what it is we are perplexing to grasp it helps we go by a tour and travel but looking down.”

Prudential, Britain’s largest insurer by marketplace value, reliable Thiam’s depart as it reported a 14 percent arise in handling distinction in 2014.

The organization pronounced a inheritor has been identified and would be announced after a regulatory capitulation process. Thiam is approaching to sojourn in place until after initial entertain formula are expelled in May. The word organisation declined to criticism on media reports that a U.S. business conduct Mike Wells would get a job.

Prudential shares fell 1.9 percent.

(Additional stating by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru, Denny Thomas in Hong Kong, David Henry in New York, Alexander Smith, Sinead Cruise, Steve Slater and Carolyn Cohn in London and Katharina Bart in Zurich; Editing by Sophie Walker)

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