Shares in Credit Suisse were up 7 per cent in early trading on Tuesday after it announced that Tidjane Thiam, the Prudential chief executive, will replace outgoing CEO Brady Dougan.
Tidjane Thiam is the first African to lead a global investment bank – but he won’t have an easy job. Credit Suisse is still recovering from the shadow of scandal following severe penalties from US regulators including a $2.5 billion settlement for helping Americans evade taxes using secret bank accounts.
Sally Yim, vice president at Moody’s, told Reuters that Thiam could offer the bank a new perspective. “Credit Suisse has had different issues throughout the years and someone with a diverse background could look at its strategy with a fresh pair of eyes,” Yim said.
Thiam, a French-speaking former Ivory Coast government minister, has led Prudential since 2009. He focussed on Asia as a new profit driver in the role, earning a reputation for developing new markets.
Prudential is Britain’s largest insurer by market value. Its stock has risen 200 per cent in London under Thiam’s leadership. The company confirmed Thiam’s departure as it reported operating profits up 14 per cent in 2014.
Dougan leaves Credit Suisse after 25 years, eight of those as CEO. “Now is the right time for the organization and for me to transition out of the CEO role,” Dougan said in a statement.
Additional reporting by Reuters