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 [Bloomberg]