Credit Suisse

  • 16 May 2013 at 4:01 PM

Layoffs Watch ’13: Credit Suisse (Update)

Cuts are a’ coming at the House Of Dougan. Read more »

We don’t have her side of the story yet but from what her enemies say about her I like Agostina Pechi’s style. Pechi is the former Credit Suisse emerging markets sales VP who quit to go to Goldman and whom CS is now suing because she (allegedly) took a bunch of secret stuff with her when she left. Also because she (allegedly) did this:

[B]eginning in February 2013, Pechi represented to her manager as well as other senior group management that [a certain] client’s interest in this and other private transactions was flagging. Credit Suisse scheduled in-person meetings with the client in an effort to revive interest in the deals.

Pechi was deliberately evasive with management regarding the status of those meetings and whether high-level decision-makers on behalf of the client would attend. Based upon Pechi’s representations, senior Credit Suisse employees did not meet with the client.

However, as Credit Suisse later discovered, Pechi attended two meetings with representatives of the client, at least one of which was attended by high-level decision-makers on behalf of the client, as part of the above-referenced private transactions.

Upon information and belief, Pechi held these in-person meetings in an effort to shore up her relationship with the client in preparation for her departure and to explicitly discuss moving its business to Pechi’s new firm.

Except for those last two paragraphs, that sounds like something I would do!1 Speaking of misplaced diligence here’s how Pechi spent her last vacation at CS: Read more »

Time was, you could count on Swiss banks to assist their clients in the business of not paying taxes, having practically written the book on how to go about keeping one’s assets a secret from prying eyes (Chapter 1: Discarded toothpaste containers make a great place to stash diamonds). Now? Not only are they no longer providing the service, they’re suddenly too good to associate with people whose hands aren’t clean. Read more »

You may not believe this, but a few weeks ago I spoke to a business school class about the financial industry, and a student asked me “what would you say to someone who’s considering a career at an investment bank?” Somehow it did not occur to me to congratulate her on her humanitarian impulses. Instead, I suggested that there are two possible futures for the big banks. In one, the various efforts to “make banking boring” – more onerous capital and liquidity regulation, clearing and futurization of derivatives, bans on prop trading, calls to break up big banks, and so forth – would create amazing opportunities for people with the intelligence, motivation, and shall we say aesthetic sensibilities to find new ways to accomplish their non-boring goals within a shifting framework. Just like changes in the tax code create work for smart tax lawyers, so changes in banking regulation and structure create opportunities for smart bankers to steal a march on their competitors.1

In the other possible future, banking would be boring.2 Today is a dark day: Read more »

Swiss bank annual earnings are here so we might as well check in on what they’re up to with comp. You and I may think of comp in pretty straightforward ways – if you did good, and your employer did good, you get paid well, and if not not – but Credit Suisse and UBS take a delightfully arcane wheels-within-wheels approach, constantly changing how they pay employees to send signals, fine-tune incentives, and optimize regulatory capital. I suppose if I worked there I’d be so pleased by the complexity of the edifice that I’d be okay with otherwise disappointing pay. Current employees may disagree.

Anyway we talked about UBS the other day; per the FT they are handing out bonuses in the form of high-trigger CoCo bonds that get written down to zero if UBS’s regulatory capital falls below 7 percent. The bonds “will pay a market-based interest rate” though that’s not saying much; any interest rate is “market-based” in the sense that it can be decomposed into, like, Treasuries plus a number. Presumably the number here is high.

Credit Suisse’s entry is out today and it is a bit of a retreat from previous years’ glories; here’s how CS describes it in its financial report: Read more »

  • 23 Jan 2013 at 4:24 PM

Bonus Watch ’13: Credit Suisse

A few details from the House of Dougan’s bonus communication day. Read more »

Like Deutsche Bank, management at BARC and CS think shrinking bonuses up to 20 percent sounds like a great idea. Read more »