The shareholders of crisis-stricken Credit Suisse approved Antonio Horta-Osorio as the bank’s new chairman on Friday. He takes the helm as Switzerland’s second largest bank investigates its risk management culture following the collapse of US investment firm Archegos and the insolvency of British finance firm Greensill.This content was published on April 30, 2021 - 14:46
The incoming chairman told the bank’s virtual annual general meeting he is facing the biggest challenge of his career. "Over three and a half decades, I have personally worked at and led several banks in different countries and have lived through many crises," the former Lloyds chief executive said. "What has happened with Credit Suisse over the last eight weeks, with the US-based hedge fund and the supply chain finance funds matters, certainly goes beyond that."
The collapse of the US hedge fund caused CHF4.4 billion ($4.8 billion) in losses and triggered many high-level departures. Chief Executive Officer Thomas Gottstein said the losses were unacceptable and stressed that "such events should never happen again". He said he would work with the new chairman to "steer Credit Suisse back into calmer waters".
Outgoing chairman Urs Rohner apologised for disappointing shareholders and clients. His tenure also carries the scars of a $2.6 billion settlement over helping people evade US taxes and a spying scandal that forced then-CEO Tidjane Thiam's departure. The bank’s risk chief, Andreas Gottschling, stood down just hours before the Friday online meeting.
Separately, investors managing $2.5 trillion called for the bank to take a tougher stance on coal financing, according to a letter cited by Reuters.