De Ferrari returns in Credit Suisse executive shake-up

Francesco De Ferrari

Credit Suisse Group announced a number of appointments to its executive board — including the return of Francesco De Ferrari to the group as CEO of its wealth management division and interim CEO of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) — as the Swiss bank seeks to move on from a year of tumultuous year of controversy.

From January 1, 2022, Credit Suisse Group will be organized into four business divisions – Wealth Management, Investment Bank, Swiss Bank and Asset Management – and the four geographic regions of EMEA, Americas, Switzerland and APAC.

De Ferrari will join the executive board of Credit Suisse Group, effective January 1, 2022, based in Zurich and reporting to group CEO Thomas Gottstein.

De Ferrari is rejoining Credit Suisse after a spell as CEO of AMP Ltd from December 2018 to June 2021.

Christian Meissner, CEO of the Credit Suisse investment bank division, has been appointed CEO of the Americas region.

Helman Sitohang and André Helfenstein have been appointed as CEOs of the APAC and Switzerland regions, respectively.

Credit Suisse also appointed Mark Hannam as Head of Internal Audit. He will join on April 1, 2022, from PwC.

Philipp Wehle, who has served as CEO of International Wealth Management (IWM) since 2019, will be appointed CFO of Wealth Management and Head Client Segment Management Global Wealth.

He will work closely with De Ferrari.

“As a consequence of re-establishing two global divisions (Wealth Management and Investment Bank) and emphasizing our quest to further simplify our structure, we have taken the decision to reintegrate parts of the Sustainability, Research & Investment Solutions (SRI) organization into the global business divisions, namely IS&P into Wealth Management and Research into Investment Bank,” said Credit Suisse.

“As a result of these changes, Lydie Hudson will step down from the executive board and will leave Credit Suisse after a transition period.

“The executive board would like to thank her for her contribution as a trusted and valued colleague and partner for nearly 14 years.”

Credit Suisse chairman António Horta-Osório said: “I am delighted to welcome Francesco to his new role.

“He joins with an impressive track record and a profound knowledge of Credit Suisse and the industry, reinforcing our executive board at this critical junction in our journey.

“He will undoubtedly play a crucial role in delivering on the group’s new strategy, towards a much stronger, more client-centric bank, with leading global businesses and regional franchises.

“Risk management will be at the core of all our actions, with the board of directors and the executive board together driving a culture that reinforces the importance of accountability and responsibility across the entire bank.

“At the same time, I would also like to thank Lydie and Philipp for their excellent contributions to the bank in their respective roles over such a significant period of time.”

Group CEO Thomas Gottstein said: “We are delighted to welcome Francesco back to Credit Suisse as CEO of the global wealth management division.

“As we look to build on our existing strengths and accelerate growth in key strategic business areas, Francesco brings over 24 years of experience in wealth management, asset management and investment banking, thereof 17 years in executive roles at Credit Suisse across the Asia Pacific and EMEA (including Switzerland) regions.

“He will also ensure an orderly implementation of the new business structure in his ad interim role as CEO of the EMEA region.

“With these appointments, as well as the appointment of Christian as CEO of the Americas region, the bank’s new divisional and regional structure is now complete and I am looking forward to working with all my executive board colleagues on executing our new strategy from January 1, 2022.

“I would like to thank Lydie, who worked in global roles across the firm and ultimately launched and led SRI.

“She will leave an indelible mark on the organization and with our clients.

“Spearheading programs like the Global Women’s Financial Forum and Sustainability Week, she has enabled our clients and employees to participate in our efforts to become a more inclusive and sustainable firm.

“She is a champion of diversity and a trusted colleague. We look forward to working with Lydie through the transition period and wish her well for the future.

“At the same time, I would like to expressly thank Philipp for his contribution in driving wealth management growth for Credit Suisse over the past years.

“Under his leadership, we have made significant progress in establishing the bank as one of the world’s leading wealth managers with market-leading franchises in UHNW and HNW. We are fortunate and privileged to be able to count on Philipp’s continued support in his new role.”

De Ferrari holds an MBA from INSEAD as well as a BA in Economics and International Business from the New York University Stern School of Business.

David Wildermuth will join Credit Suisse and the executive board as chief risk oficer effective January 1, 2022, a month earlier than previously announced, while Joanne Hannaford will take over from James B. Walker as chief technology and operating officer at the same time.

As previously announced Christine Graeff will take over from Antoinette Poschung as Global Head of Human Resources on February 1, 2022 and will join the executive board. All other executive board members will maintain their respective roles.