Tidjane Thiam Making Abundantly Clear How Little He Values Investment Banking

If all of the layoffs, pay cuts and shade-throwing didn’t get the message across, maybe hiring part-time regional co-heads will.
By World Economic Forum from Cologny, Switzerland [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By World Economic Forum from Cologny, Switzerland [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Since taking over Credit Suisse two years ago, Tidjane Thiam has done just about everything short of hiring skywriters over Zürich to send the following message to his investment bank: You are not very good at your jobs (he would know), and I would like to marginalize those of you I do not fire as much as possible. He’s tried cutting their pay. He’s laid off a lot of them. Like, a wholelot, with more to come. He’s maybe tried to sell it, which its employees would have really liked. He’s practically adding the words “Asset Management” to the bank’s name to make clear where his priorities lie.

Given how poorly things are going for the CS I-bank, both in terms of its performance and its treatment by higher-ups, it’s no surprise that Thiam might want to make some management changes. And so he has: Credit Suisse’s investment bankers have new regional leaders. And in line with his plans to de-emphasize what they do, he’s making clear that he doesn’t expect them to have to do very much in their new roles.

Credit Suisse has turned to Messrs Cestar and Welter, who in addition to their new responsibilities, will retain their positions as chair of the global credit products commitment committee, and co-head of global consumer products and retail investment banking respectively.

Credit Suisse Overhauls Investment Bank’s Top Brass Amid Broader Revamp [WSJ]