Credit Suisse needs to rebuild its senior ranks. Last month's independent report into the issues that led to the $5.5bn Archegos loss found that too many senior Credit Suisse staff in areas like risk management had been fired and that those who remained were incompetent. The bank has responded by rehiring some of those it let go at higher prices, but it's also busy bolstering its senior ranks with a certain type of all-new hire.
Senior executives at Credit Suisse appear to be strengthening their personal teams. As we reported in July, new chairman António Horta-Osório re-hired Jessica Kaffren from HSBC as chief operating officer for his personal office. Now, both the CEO and the head of the asset management business have added their own new chiefs of staff.
Christian Egli Kehrle joined in Zurich this month as chief of staff/head of the CEO's office, working closely with Thomas Gottstein. David Kruck also joined in Zurich as chief of staff to the asset management division, reporting to the post-Greensill head of that business, Ulrich Körner.
Kruck came from UBS, where he occupied a similar role. Egli Kehrle came from new Neue Aargauer Bank, where he worked for 18 months after a 22-year career at Credit Suisse where he was most recently finance COO at the Swiss Universal bank. Egli Kehrle, therefore, looks like another rehire as Credit Suisse tries to get to grip with its issues.
It's not clear whether Christian Meissner, head of the investment bank, also has his own new chief of staff. Meissner is understood still to be in New York right now, but to be moving to Zurich soon, so there might be some locational issues in the assembly of his own personal coterie. However, the Archegos report highlighted the need for support for the investment banking CEO in particular: it found that reporting lines in the prime broking business were unclear and that ex-investment bank CEO Brian Chin was unaware of the Archegos risks until the night of March 24th, when Archegos revealed it would be unable to meet a $2.5bn margin call.
Chief of staff can be a powerful position, with responsibility for supporting senior executives in their day-to-day management of the business. Former Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam appointed Juerg Kaeppeli, an ex-McKinsey Consultant as his chief of staff in 2016. Kaeppeli was among those to leave Credit Suisse last year, but there's little sign of him coming back - he currently runs his own Swiss enterprise software company.
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