Africa, Finance, News

Credit Suisse Names Tidjane Thiam CEO

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By Frederick H. Lowe

The board of directors of Credit Suisse Group AG, a Zurich, Switzerland-based financial-services company, has named Tidjane Thiam CEO, replacing Brady W. Dougan who is stepping down in June after eight years at the helm.

Credit Suisse operates in more than 50 countries and employs 45,800 workers. The company is considered one of the whales in the international financial-services market.

Tidjane Thiam
Tidjane Thiam

The company reported revised 2014 revenues and net earnings of 25,815 billion Swiss Francs ($26.829 billion) and a net income of 2,326 billion Swiss Francs ($2.414 billion). Credit Suisse focuses on private banking, wealth management and investment banking.

“I am honored to be offered this opportunity to lead this great institution and particularly to follow Brady, who has been such a distinguished CEO,” Thaim said. “Credit Suisse has an exceptional business, great people, a solid strategy and strong momentum. I look forward to working with the senior management team, the board of directors, and all the employees of Credit Suisse to maintain and further the strong momentum of the franchise and to serve our clients in Switzerland and around the world.”

Urs Rohner, chairman of Credit Swiss, said,”Tidjane Thiam, a strong and distinguished leader with an impressive track record in the global financial services industry, will take the helm of our bank. His extensive international experience, including in wealth and asset management and in the successful development of new markets, provides a firm foundation for leading Credit Suisse.”

Thaim is currently Group Chief Executive of Prudential plc. a London-based international financial services company with operations in the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Born in the Republic Cotê d’Ivoire, or the Ivory Coast, a French-speaking country in West Africa that borders Liberia and Ghana, Credit Suisse’s board selected Thiam after an evaluation process that included internal and external candidates.

Thaim was educated in France at the Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines in Paris.

He holds an MBA from INSEAD, which calls itself the business school for the world. The private school with a $185 million endowment has locations in Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Fontainebleau, France.

He worked for McKinsey & Company in Paris and New York and for the government of the Cotê d’Ivoire as Minister of Planning and Development. He returned to McKinsey as a partner in Paris.

From 2002-to 2008, he played leading roles at Aviva insurance company before joining Prudential as Chief Financial Officer. In 2009, Thaim was named CEO of Prudential. He speaks French, English and German.

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