Credit Suisse set to announce Koerner as CEO, latest change at helm – sources

July 26 (Reuters) – Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN.S) is set to announce Ulrich Koerner as chief executive, the Swiss bank’s latest management change as it struggles to recover from a series of scandals, two sources close to the situation said on Tuesday.

Pressure has been mounting on current CEO Thomas Gottstein for months over major scandals and accumulated losses during his two-year tenure that have hammered stocks and angered investors. In recent months, some investors had called for Gottstein to be replaced, but the bank resisted.

Another senior executive, Christian Meissner, head of the lender’s investment bank, is also considering leaving the group, the Financial Times reported.

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One of the sources said the bank was due to announce the CEO change on Wednesday along with its quarterly results.

Credit Suisse declined to comment. Meissner did not respond to requests for comment from Reuters.

When Gottstein took the reins in 2020, he promised a “clean slate” for the bank, which was recovering from an internal espionage scandal that cost its predecessor Tidjane Thiam his job.

Since Thiam’s departure in February 2020, the stock has fallen nearly 60% and the problems at the bank have only worsened. In 2021, the bank disclosed a $5.5 billion loss following the breakup of US investment firm Archegos and the collapse of $10 billion in supply chain finance funds. The events prompted management ousters, investigations and a capital raise – followed by further losses and further lawsuits. Read more

Credit Suisse tapped Koerner in April 2021 to lead its newly separated asset management division following the collapse of $10 billion in supply chain finance funds linked to insolvent financier Greensill Capital. .

Koerner returned to Credit Suisse from archrival UBS, where he most recently served as an advisor to the CEO from 2019 to 2020. He led UBS Asset Management from 2014 to 2019. Koerner was previously a senior executive at Credit Suisse Financial Services and led the company Swiss. Read more

Koerner, who worked for McKinsey, is considered a restructuring expert in Switzerland.

Nonetheless, the appointment would follow other major European banks where diversity at the top has been lacking. The 25 largest banks by assets have seen 22 CEO and chairman changes in the past two years, according to a Reuters study of industry leadership positions. Twenty-one of those 22 jobs went to men. Read more

This spring, Credit Suisse Chairman Axel Lehmann reiterated his support for Gottstein after Artisan Partners, the bank’s ninth largest shareholder, publicly called for Gottstein’s replacement. Read more

“I fully support it because it’s good,” Lehmann said in an interview with CNBC at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos. He called “rumors and speculation” the rumors that Gottstein might be about to leave.

The WSJ reported earlier that Gottstein could soon be replaced, days after Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported the bank was considering further cost cuts. Read more

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Reporting by Oliver Hirt in Zurich, Shivam Patel in Bangalore and Elisa Martinuzzi in London; Additional writing by Megan Davies; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Richard Pullin

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