People Moves

Former Top Credit Suisse Figure Returns As Wealth Management Boss

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, 14 December 2021

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The bank announced a raft of top-level moves and appointments. Separately, Credit Suisse made further repayments to investors in supply-chain funds hit by the Greensill saga.

Credit Suisse yesterday announced that Francesco De Ferrari is coming back to the fold as chief executive of its wealth management arm, having previously been at Australia-based AMP from 2018 to June 2021. The Swiss bank also announced a number of top-line management changes.

At AMP De Ferrari was chief executive, overseeing a portfolio of businesses ranging from life insurance to asset management products, pensions and banking, as well as joint ventures across China and the US. Before this, he worked for Credit Suisse from 2002 to 2018, where he had a number of senior roles including head of private banking for Asia-Pacific and CEO of Southeast Asia and frontier markets.

Between 2008 and 2011, he was CEO for private banking in Italy at the firm, having previously been business chief operating officer for private banking, Europe, Middle East and Africa. Before joining Credit Suisse, he worked at companies such as Nestlé and McKinsey in different roles.

Joining the bank at the start of January 2022, De Ferrari will report to group CEO Thomas Gottstein. De Ferrari has also been appointed as ad interim CEO of Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Christian Meissner, CEO of the investment bank division, has been appointed as CEO of the Americas region. 

Helman Sitohang and André Helfenstein have been appointed as CEOs of the Asia-Pacific and Switzerland regions, respectively. Mark Hannam has been named as head of internal audit. 

Switzerland’s second-largest bank also unveiled a new board of directors model to improve governance of subsidiary boards.

The Zurich-based group has made a series of changes as it works to recover from a series of heavy losses earlier this year from the implosions of UK-based supply-chain group Greensill and New York-based hedge fund/family office Archegos. Yesterday, Credit Suisse announced plans to return another $400 million to investors in supply-chain funds hit by the Greensill failure, the sixth disbursement since the bank froze the products earlier this year. The latest payment, planned for 15 December, brings the total repaid to investors to $6.7 billion. The cash position of the funds is equivalent to about $7.2 billion, or about 72 per cent of their value at the time of their suspension, it said. 

New structure
The new appointments fit with the bank’s new strategy and organisational structure, as announced in November 2021. 

From 1 January next year, the group will be organised into four business divisions – wealth management, investment bank, Swiss bank and asset management – and four geographic regions – EMEA, Americas, Switzerland and APAC.

Other changes
Philipp Wehle, who has served as CEO of international wealth management since 2019, will be appointed as chief financial officer of wealth management and head client segment management global wealth, working with Francesco De Ferrari.

The firm said that because it is re-establishing two global divisions (wealth management and investment bank) it has reintegrated parts of the sustainability, research and investment solutions' organisation into the global business divisions, namely IS&P into wealth management and research into the investment bank. As a result of these changes, Lydie Hudson, CEO for sustainability, research and investment solutions will step down from the executive board, leaving the bank after a transition period. She has worked at the bank for 14 years.

Internal audit
Credit Suisse also named Mark Hannam as head of internal audit. He will join on 1 April, reporting to Richard Meddings, chair of the audit committee. He is joining from PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he has served as a partner for the past two decades. Most recently, he oversaw audit quality across a number of PwC firms within its international network. 

The firm also said that it was reshaping its main regional subsidiary and advisory boards’ composition whereby a member of the group board of directors will become the chair of each of the group’s main regional subsidiary and advisory boards.

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