Newly appointed Credit Suisse AG Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam, in an interview with the Financial Times, promised a “ruthlessly selective” review of the Swiss bank`s businesses, amid expectations that the incoming CEO would cut staff by about 15 percent from its investment banking arm.
Thiam`s strategic review will involve executives competing with each other for capital allocations by showing their units` profitability throughout various economic cycles, although “people who have no performance issues have no concerns,” Thiam was quoted as saying in the Financial Times.
Even though investors and analysts expect the new CEO to scale back operations in the capital-intensive investment banking area and focus more on private banking in Asia, he would not necessarily take the decisions they expect, the FT reported.
The 52-year old former chief executive of British insurer Prudential said that Credit Suisse may pursue growth by expanding internationally in emerging markets, United States and Switzerland, the FT said.
Thiam`s reputation follows his success at Prudential, where he expanded into Asia with a clear strategy by laying out medium-term targets, and after an early spat over a failed takeover of rival Asian-focused insurer AIA, built good rapport with regulators.
In an internal memo to staff soon after assuming office, Thiam said choosing what the bank will do and where it invests its cash will be a focus in the weeks and months ahead, adding that he would determine the strategy later this year.