Why do Asian professors give me Cs

Economy - "There is a lot of resentment piling up with Dougan"

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The pressure from the shareholders led to Brady Dougan's replacement at Credit Suisse, says banking professor Maurice Pedergnana. Under the new CEO Thiam, investment banking is likely to be scaled back and exposure in Asia increased.

SRF News: Insurance expert Thiam succeeds investment banker Dougan. Does this signal a change in strategy at Credit Suisse?

Maurice Pedergnana: First of all: I would call Tidjane Thiam a finance expert rather than an insurance expert. As such, he enjoys a great reputation in the financial center of London, but also in Europe and Asia. As the new CEO of Credit Suisse, he will probably shift into accelerated reverse gear in investment banking. Investment banking was a core division at CS under Dougan, but has not brought shareholders anything except worries over the past seven years. Therefore, the joy is great that someone leaves who has not created any added value for the shareholders and someone comes who also knows how to implement the concerns of the shareholders in the operational business.

So this change in strategy has also been called for by investors?

I don't doubt that. Some large shareholder communities at CS are very dissatisfied because there is hardly a major title in the financial world that has lagged as far behind as CS since 2009. You have to imagine: While Dougan received total compensation of over 150 million francs, the shareholders did not feel a single franc increase in value. A lot of resentment towards the CEO has already built up.

Did you have Thiam on the ticker as a possible successor to Dougan?

No, not immediately. But it is convincing that CS, which is strongly anchored in the Anglo-Saxon market, has to take a step into the Asian market. Thiam brings a large network into the group for this. As CEO of Prudential, he showed how to build and expand the Asian business very cleverly. The Prudential shareholders were rewarded for the courage to take the step to Asia. This is what the CS shareholders hope for from the new CEO.

What exactly is CS hoping for from doing business in Asia?

Asia is the market that will grow the most in the next 20 years. The financial centers in Shanghai, Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia will become more important, while the Zurich financial center will lose importance. You don't have to be a clairvoyant to understand that you have to be present in Asia in order to generate shareholder values ​​and to generate interesting customers for the future. Building a network there and gaining customers will be the primary task for Thiam. He will certainly no longer place the same emphasis on fixed-income securities as Dougan. This line of business has taken up a lot of capital in investment banking and has brought little return. This capital could have been used better elsewhere.

What do you think: Will the former politician Thiam from the Ivory Coast lead the CS differently than the American Dougan, who was repeatedly criticized for high bonuses?

It will be of great advantage that Mr. Thiam speaks French, one of the Swiss national languages. Dougan had refused to learn one. As a result, he repeatedly had communication difficulties, for example with the authorities. That is why he has delegated these contacts. I am convinced that Thiam will lead the big banking ship Credit Suisse into calm waters with more charm and more communication skills.

Maurice Pedergnana

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Maurice Pedergnana is an economics professor for bank management at the Lucerne School of Economics. In addition, he works in a managerial role at an asset management company in Zug. There he heads the investment committee and acts as chief economist.

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  • Commentary by Esther Baumann, 8000 Zurich
    Whether he did a bad or a good job is an open question. With the many millions he received, he would have been able to afford private German lessons long ago! It is unfortunate that no Swiss CEO has been established for the successor. Still, every chance for the new CEO Thiam.
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Commentary by Trudi G., New York
    Brady Dougan weathered the economic crisis well. It wasn't that bad at all. Envious are mostly those who would also take 150 million, but will never make it.
    Agree agree to the comment
    1. answer from Marlene Zelger, 6370 Stans
      B.D. has survived the economic crisis. But please also write that the bank had to pay a fine of almost 3 BILLION because something went wrong - under the aegis of CEO Doogan.
      Agree agree to the comment
    2. Show answers
  • Comment by Tobias Müller, Bellach
    unfortunately the banking world has not yet learned anything. Politics also promotes the whole thing (debts that can be deducted). And believe me, I got to know high-level managers from the banking world personally. I've always asked myself how one (s) get such responsible jobs. Mostly the right vitamins and arrogance! Now you have to ask yourself who vote for such people?
    Agree agree to the comment

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