The king is dead - long live the king.
The Board of Directors of Credit Suisse has appointed Tidjane Thiam as the new CEO. He will take over this position from Brady W. Dougan, who will step down at the end of June 2015 after eight years as CEO of Credit Suisse Group.
Urs Rohner, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said: 'We are extremely grateful to Brady Dougan for his exceptional commitment, unparalleled personal contribution and leadership to Credit Suisse over many years. Brady has significantly and successfully shaped our company; he has kept our bank on track in recent years despite a complex environment and considerable headwinds in the global financial services industry. Brady and his management team have mastered even the most difficult challenges together'.
Rohner continued: 'With Tidjane Thiam, a strong and distinguished leader with an impressive track record in the global financial services industry will take the helm of our bank. His extensive international experience, including in wealth and asset management and in the successful development of new markets, provides a firm foundation for leading Credit Suisse. As CEO, he led Prudential to great success in challenging times'.
Thiam is currently Group Chief Executive of Prudential plc, a London-based international financial services group with operations in the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America. After a thorough evaluation process, which included internal as well as external candidates, the Board of Directors has appointed him as the new CEO of Credit Suisse Group. Born in Côte d’Ivoire, he was raised and educated in France (Ecole Polytechnique, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris) and also holds an MBA from INSEAD. After several years at McKinsey & Company in Paris and New York, he worked for the government of Côte d’Ivoire, where his final post was as Minister of Planning and Development, before returning to McKinsey & Co. in Paris as a partner. From 2002 until 2008 Tidjane Thiam had leading roles at Aviva insurance company, prior to joining Prudential as their CFO. In 2009, he became Prudential’s CEO. He is married with two adult children. Tidjane Thiam speaks English, French, and German, and is a dual citizen of France and Côte d’Ivoire.
Dougan joined Credit Suisse First Boston in 1990, where he headed the Equities business between 1996 and 2001, prior to his appointment as Global Head of Securities business in 2001. In 2003, he was appointed a member of the Executive Board of Credit Suisse Group, and from 2004 until 2005 he was CEO of Credit Suisse First Boston. After the merger of Credit Suisse First Boston with Credit Suisse in May 2005, he became CEO of the Investment Banking Division. In 2007, Dougan was appointed CEO of Credit Suisse Group and currently is one of the longest serving CEOs of any major global bank. He will continue to serve as CEO through the end of June 2015 to ensure a flawless transition to Tidjane Thiam.
Dougan said: 'I am proud of what the management team and all the employees of Credit Suisse have achieved over the 25 years I have worked here, particularly the 8 years I have been CEO. We managed quite well through the crisis in 2008, we have anticipated and proactively evolved our business to the new market and regulatory requirements, and have been constructive and a thought leader in many of the new regulatory developments. As a consequence, the strategic return on equity last year was amongst the highest in the industry and our cumulative net new asset inflows exceeded those of our peers. Now is the right time for the organization and for me to transition out of the CEO role. Tidjane and I have worked together over the past six years, and I have tremendous respect for him'.
Thiam said: 'I am honored to be offered the opportunity to lead this great institution and particularly to follow Brady, who has been such a distinguished CEO. Credit Suisse has an exceptional business, great people, a solid strategy and strong momentum. I look forward to working with the senior management team, the Board of Directors, and all the employees of Credit Suisse to maintain, further the strong momentum of the franchise and serve our clients in Switzerland and around the world'.
Rohner said: 'I wish to thank Brady for his remarkable commitment to the bank and exceptional record of achievements over the past 25 years. Together with my colleagues on the Board of Directors and the Executive Board, we look forward to working with Tidjane at Credit Suisse'.