- Credit Suisse has proposed António Horta-Osório, Lloyds Banking Group outgoing CEO, as its new chairman
- Horta-Osório will replace Urs Rohner who will step down in 2021 after serving Credit Suisse for 12 years
- The bank will ask its shareholders to cast their vote for Horta-Osório in its AGM in April
Global investment firm Credit Suisse has proposed the name of António Horta-Osório, the outgoing Lloyds Banking Group CEO, as its next chairman.
Horta-Osório will replace 61-year-old Urs Rohner who will step down next year after completing his statutory term of 12 years, Switzerland’s second-biggest bank Credit Suisse said in a statement today.
Rohner was appointed to the board of directors at Credit Suisse’s annual general meeting in 2009. He became a full-time vice-chairman and subsequently became the full-time chairman in 2011.
In its statement, the global wealth manager said it has already done detailed research to replace Rohner with an international focus. The shareholders will cast their vote on the appointment of Horta-Osório in the next annual general meeting, which will be held in April.
The New Head
The 56-years-old Horta-Osório began his career in the banking industry at Citigroup in Portugal in 1987 and has also worked with Goldman Sachs, Grupo Santander. In March 2011, he was appointed as the group chief executive by Lloyds Banking Group and was longest serving boss of a major bank. Besides, he acted on the court of directors of the Bank of England from 2009 to 2011.
In the past, Horta-Osório had revamped the Lloyds after the 2008 global economic crisis. Later, the bank restored its private proprietorship in 2017 almost after a decade after the UK government sold its shares in the bank. However, his £6.3m pay package has often been in the news as Lloyds Banking Group had laid off many of its workers in 2019 and had closed many branches across the country.
Commenting on the new role, Horta-Osório said he is happy to be given the responsibility by Credit Suisse and will look forward to having a great association with the board and will work to enhance the company’s strength.
Credit Suisse’s board of directors had set up a steadfast search committee in order to find a replacement for Rohner. The committee reviewed a number of high-calibre and well-qualified nominees from across the world, and proposed Horta-Osório’s name to the company’s shareholders as the new chairman.
Rohner also said he is happy to see a well-qualified and experienced candidate like Horta-Osório as his successor, who has the ability to take the company to a new height and enhance the global credibility of the company.
The proposal of appointment of Horta-Osório has come at a time when Credit Suisse has been severely impacted by the pandemic. The company’s asset management unit has been impacted, and the firm has shut down funds and fired employees at its alternative business.
The bank is planning a tactical analysis of asset management over the next 12 months; however, it has ruled out merger or sale.
In the coming days, it would be interesting to see how Horta-Osório can bring about changes in Credit Suisse in the wake of the pandemic. The bank could see a new wave of changes in the UK with a new trade settlement between the UK and EU, and globally due to new leadership in the US.