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It’s no secret that former Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam and his investment bankers didn’t see eye-to-eye. In fact, they more or less openly feared and loathed one another, as Thiam cut deeply into his traders’ bonuses, numbers and senses of self-worth vis-à-vis their wealth management colleagues. He’d have liked to do even more cutting, as even after all he’d done the I-bank wasn’t pulling its considerably reduced weight, but there wasn’t any left to do.

So one might imagine a tremendous sense of relief—even vindication—on CS’s trading floors when, in spite of the turnaround he engineered, Thiam got the ax. Perhaps new CEO Thomas Gottstein, unlike Thiam and his immediate predecessors a proper Swiss, would understand them, nurture them, love them and make them feel like valuable parts of the team again—as valuable, many even more so, than those dullards and failures in wealth management who get all the good jobs these days.

In a word: Nope. In slightly more precise, Swiss words, a trader is still half a man at Credit Suisse.

Chief Executive Thomas Gottstein, who took over the bank earlier this year after a spying scandal rocked its executive ranks, said the bank would allocate two-thirds of its capital to wealth management and one-third to investment banking. The split between its two main businesses continues the strategy set out by his predecessor, Tidjane Thiam…. The wealth-management business, with clients ranging from technology entrepreneurs to large family offices, made around 4 billion Swiss francs in pretax profit in the 12 months to Sept. 30, equivalent to $4.5 billion. Mr. Gottstein said the aim now is to raise its annual pretax profit in wealth management to between 5 billion francs and 5.5 billion francs in 2023. Most new capital will be earmarked for the business, the bank said.

No word as to how much will be secretly allocated to the CSIA.

Credit Suisse Bets Future on Managing More Rich People’s Money [WSJ]


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