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The Swiss bank said Sunday that its board hasn’t made decisions but that it is reviewing senior appointments and succession plans. Long-serving executives in roles including the chief financial officer, general counsel and Asia head could be shifted out as the bank makes changes, said people familiar with the matter. A search was under way last fall for a new general counsel, according to the people.
A Credit Suisse spokesman said the bank is “regularly discussing succession plans and is reviewing senior appointments for certain positions, including for certain legal entities, regions and the executive board. However, no board decisions have been taken and we will communicate at the appropriate time.”
CFO David Mathers has been in his role since 2010 and Romeo Cerutti has been top lawyer since 2009. The Asia head, Helman Sitohang, has held senior roles at the bank for more than a decade.
Swiss newspaper NZZ reported on the possible moves at Credit Suisse earlier Sunday.
Credit Suisse has said before that it needs to fill a position in the U.S. left open by the departure of another longtime executive, Eric Varvel, in December. The bank shed about two dozen executives, including Mr. Varvel, for their roles in two 2021 scandals.
Financing partner Greensill Capital went bankrupt in March 2021, putting at risk billions of dollars in investments in funds Credit Suisse ran via an asset-management arm led by Mr. Varvel. The same month, it lost roughly $5 billion exiting large stock positions of family office Archegos Capital Management.
An outsider chairman came in to restructure and lower risks, then left in January after just nine months, for violating Covid-19 restrictions.
His successor, current Chairman Axel Lehmann, a onetime chief-executive contender at crosstown rival UBS Group AG, told shareholders 2021 was a disappointing and challenging year in a letter last month. He said his focus was on stabilizing the bank and moving ahead with strategic and cultural changes that were planned in the previous chairman’s short tenure.
Mr. Mathers, the CFO, has served under three Credit Suisse CEOs, helping the bank navigate fallout from the 2008 financial crisis and more recent travails. Mr. Cerutti negotiated for Credit Suisse in some of its largest settlements with regulators, including to pay $475 million last year over loans Credit Suisse made in Mozambique. A subsidiary pleaded guilty to wire-fraud conspiracy charges.
Earlier this month, Credit Suisse warned it will have a loss in the first quarter from rising litigation costs and loan losses related to Russia.
Litigation provisions will be about $740 million in the quarter because of developments in legal cases, which include a former client winning a roughly $555 million court award in Bermuda. Credit Suisse said results will be hit by roughly $212 million in negative revenues and loan-loss provisions stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and that business activity in general was lower. It is scheduled to report full results on April 27.
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