Horta-Osorio joins Credit Suisse today
Portuguese banker António Horta-Osorio, who turned the fortunes of Lloyds Bank around from 2011, starts work at Credit Suisse today.
One of Europe’s longest-serving bank CEOs, he admitted in an interview this month that he had “brought Lloyds back from the brink” as it was “about to die” after having to be bailed out during the financial crisis.
‘AHO’ as he was known as Lloyds, has another big repair job to do as chairman of Credit Suisse as he has to pick up the pieces from the fallout of the collapse of US investment firm Archegos (CS lost (US$5Bn) and the bankruptcy of British supply chain finance firm Greensill (it lost US$10Bn).
Credit Suisse was highly exposed to these two multi-billion dollar losses resulting in heads rolling at the bank and bonuses being slashed.
As the Swiss bank does a post-mortem into what went wrong, its chief executive Thomas Gottstein will undertake a thorough health check on the bank and a review of what went wrong once Horta-Osório takes charge.
Guy de Blonay, a Jupiter fund manager told Reuters that at Lloyds “he was quite efficient in reorganising. He sold non-core and toxic assets relatively successfully, cut costs to the core and restored the bank to profitability and full private ownership.”
Horta-Osorio takes over from Urs Rohner whose tenure as chairman of Credit Suisse was marked by criticisms and doubts over Credit Suisse’s long-term direction, as well as having to deal with a string of losses and scandals at the bank over the past five years.
The situation got worse after the bank got embroiled in a commercial spying scandal which showed that the bank was exposed to risky trades and relationships.
It means that the Portuguese banker will not only have to mend the Swiss bank’s financial fortunes, but also its reputation and image worldwide.
Credit Suisse is also facing three enforcement proceedings by Swiss Financial market supervisor FINMA.