Head resigns as CS Holding cuts 5,000 jobs

A row within the board of CS Holding, the Swiss banking giant, burst into the open yesterday as Josef Ackermann, president of its Credit Suisse subsidiary, resigned due to "differing views" on the same day as the bank announced a world-wide restructuring exercise involving 5,000 job cuts.

The restructuring of CS Holding, which is number two in Switzerland after United Bank of Switzerland and the parent of Credit Suisse and CS First Boston, will cost SFr1bn (pounds 500m). The bank will change its name to Credit Suisse Group in January next year.

At the same time, CS Holding chairman Rainer Gut, who courted controversy by suggesting a merger with rival UBS barely three months ago, will remain chairman of the new group.

CS Holding declined to enlarge on the reasons for the departure of Mr Ackermann, who had been president of the executive board at Credit Suisse and a member of the CS Holding board.

Lukas Muehlemann, who successfully restructured Swiss Reinsurance, will leave his chief executive's post there to take the helm at the restructured Credit Suisse Group.

The bank added that the job losses, including 3,500 in Switzerland, will happen over the next two to three years and will take place mainly by non-replacement of staff who leave.

At the end of 1995, CS Holding and its subsidiaries had a workforce of almost 24,000 in Switzerland and a further 10,000 operating world-wide.

In a key move, the group will be divesting non-core activities, chiefly a 44.9 per cent stake in Swiss engineering and electricity group Elektrowatt. The proceeds from its disposal will go towards the restructuring costs.

CS shares rose sharply in early trading on the Zurich bourse after the announcement yesterday morning.

Analysts welcomed the announcement as a big step towards transparency and focus from a company whose current mixed character had prompted some caution among investors.

Christoph Bieri, at Zurich Kantonalbank, said: "It is an extremely far- reaching restructuring that is very modern, the same direction that the other two big Swiss banks [UBS and Swiss Bank Corporation] are moving in."

Under the plan announced yesterday, CS Holding will be realigning its businesses into four specialised and autonomous units.

The new divisions will be created from the group's existing financial companies - Credit Suisse; Swiss Volksbank, a Swiss domestic bank; Bank Leu, the private banking unit; Credit Suisse Financial Products and New York-based CS First Boston.

The four new units will be Swiss domestic banking, worldwide private banking, world-wide asset management and world-wide corporate and investment banking.

The company estimates the new structure, which will take effect on 1 January 1997, will slash annual costs by around pounds 350m. From 1998, the plan will boost annual revenues by about the same amount.

"By this move, CS Holding will change from a Swiss bank with international activities to an international financial institution with headquarters and certain core businesses in Switzerland," the company said.

CS Holding, which is regularly ranked among the world's leaders in market activities such as bond issues or equity trading, had total assets of SFr412.7bn at the end of 1995.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower