Brady Dougan

Layoffs Watch ’08: Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse announced this morning that it will be cutting 500 jobs in investment banking and “administrative support” divisions. Spokesman Bruce Corwin claimed the layoffs are due to shrinking client demand, though one might note the “coincidence” between the start of the tortuously long summer lines at the Shake Shack and a sudden reduction in headcount. Luckily, for any interns tasked with spending three quarters of his/her June/July/August waiting to order someone else’s Shroom Burger, we’re told that the cuts are worse than what’s being reported. Supposedly over half the real estate finance group “will be gone before the end of the day,” and there will be “severe carnage” across the entire firm. Severance packages are said to include two months pay, period.
On the bright side, let’s give it up for whoever’s idea it was to break the layoffs news (and the inevitability forthcoming news of blown earnings) on the same day rival Swiss bank UBS came out with a fifty page report detailing in easy bullet-proof form* how it went about systematically destroying value over the last year or so. That was smart. Very smart.
Credit Suisse Says It’s Cutting 500 Jobs as Client Demand Wanes [Bloomberg]
*Helpful for anyone interested in following suit but unsure where to start.

  • 04 May 2007 at 8:34 AM
  • Banks

Credit Suisse Now Brady’s Bunch

brady dougan.jpg Brady Dougan takes over Credit Suisse today, becoming the Swiss bank’s fourth CEO in the last 10 years, and the first one to succeed peacefully and not from someone getting ousted. Dougan, former head of the investment banking division, is the first American to hold the position. When former CEO Oswald Gruebel handed Dougan the keys today, his instructions were simple – “Don’t touch anything!” It will be Dougan’s mission to maintain the current status quo at Credit Suisse, which is to kick UBS’s arse and continue to grow earnings, which have doubled in the last three years.
Dougan’s (much publicised) propensity to work 16 hour days (in other words he’s still an I-banking analyst at heart), run marathons and save kittens has translated into a rapid career ascent marked by displacing those who leave the company (Mack) or come under intense regulatory scrutiny (Wheat/Quattrone).
Despite the changing of the guard love-fest, all is not necessarily rosy with Credit Suisse. The bank has an underperforming asset management division that may be subject to a creit lowering (in the London unit) due to the departure of several key executives. There is also insider-trading trouble, as NY banker Hafiz Naseem was arrested yesterday on the charge of tipping off investors.
American Dougan Emulates Gruebel at Credit Suisse – [Bloomberg]

Despite the complaints we constantly hear about the outsized power of the Swiss from some of our favorite bankers at Credit Suisse here in New York, especially those few still lingering around from the days before they erased the name First Boston from the earth, Credit Swiss just put a young American in its corner office.

Credit Suisse Group, rebounding from years in the shadow of its bigger rival UBS AG, reported record fourth-quarter earnings of 4.67 billion francs ($3.8 billion) and elevated Brady Dougan, a former derivatives trader, to succeed Oswald Gruebel as chief executive officer.
The promotion of the 47-year-old Dougan, who started his career 25 years ago at New York-based Bankers Trust Corp., makes him the first American to take sole possession of the executive suite at the second-largest Swiss bank and shows the growing influence of Wall Street on the global capital markets.

So who is this Brady Dougan fellow who has conquered the gnomes? Dougan first came to widespread public attention when he took over Credit Suisse’s investment bank in 2004 after the departure of John Mack. At the time, he was said to be the youngest CEO on Wall Street. According to a 2005 Business Week article, “Brady W. Dougan bears few of the outward signs of power on Wall Street. He doesn’t wear flashy cuff links. He doesn’t play golf. And he doesn’t drink fine wines — just Diet Coke.”
He’s also known as a controversial cost-cutter who let go an prominent high-yield bond banker, spun-off the private equity business just before private equity became the next big thing, and notoriously ordered employees to cut down on office supplies and expenses, such as color copies.
But, of course, our readers are usually our best sources. So we’re turning it over to you. In the comments section below, we invite you to share any rumors or tales of actual encounters with young Brady.

Credit Suisse Promotes Dougan to CEO; Earnings Rise