Credit Suisse shares surge as bank switches CEOs

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BERLIN (AP) — Shares in Credit Suisse surged after the Swiss bank sought to turn the page on a period of scandals and fines by replacing its CEO, Brady W. Dougan, with the head of British insurer Prudential, Tidjane Thiam.

Dougan will step down at the end of June to give way to Thiam, who helped Prudential expand into emerging markets in recent years.

Credit Suisse shares were up 7.5 percent on the news, trading at 24.90 francs per share in midday trading in Switzerland.

The Swiss bank's chairman, Urs Rohner, said in a statement that Dougan had kept Credit Suisse Group AG "on track in recent years despite a complex environment and considerable headwinds in the global financial services industry."

Dougan, an American who joined Credit Suisse First Boston in 1990, successfully steered the Swiss bank through the 2008 financial crisis but failed to prevent it from paying billions in fines for helping foreign clients evade taxes. Last year, the bank agreed to pay U.S. authorities $2.6 billion in penalties for helping clients dodge taxes.

The bank last month amended its fourth quarter 2014 earnings release to reflect an additional 230 million francs ($230 million) in charges for litigation and investigations in the United States related to mortgages.

Thiam, who was born in Ivory Coast and also holds French citizenship, comes to Credit Suisse with a strong track record at Prudential, where he successfully expanded into developing markets, said Rohner.

The bank said Thiam speaks English, French and German — an asset in Switzerland, where the bank still has a large retail business and many employees.

Thiam said he looked forward to maintaining "the strong momentum of the franchise and (serving) our clients in Switzerland and around the world."