Credit Suisse board shake up; vice chair Schwan exits

Credit Suisse has shaken up its board with moves that include the departure of vice chair and lead independent director Severin Schwan as the Swiss bank attempts to put behind it a series of damaging scandals.

Schwan is also chief executive officer of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche Holding AG, and has faced criticism for trying to combine the two roles.

Switzerland’s second largest bank said that Schwan, 54, would not stand for re-election to the board of directors at Credit Suisse’s annual general meeting on April 29.

Another two of the 13 members of the Credit Suisse board — Kai S. Nargolwala and Juan Colombas — will also not stand for re-election.

Christian Gellerstad will become vice chairman and also take over as head of the compensation committee at Credit Suisse from Nargolwala.

Credit Suisse said it has nominated former UniCredit chief financial officer Mirko Bianchi, London School of Economics economics professor Keyu Jin, and former Wells Fargo group chief risk officer Amanda Norton for election as non-executive members.

In a statement, Credit Suisse said: “The board of director is proposing Mirko Bianchi, Keyu Jin and Amanda (Mandy) Norton for election as non-executive members of the board at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders (AGM) to be held on April 29, 2022.

“Severin Schwan, Kai S. Nargolwala and Juan Colombas have informed the board that they will not stand for re-election at the 2022 AGM.

“Christian Gellerstad will become vice chair and lead independent director.

“Severin Schwan, who joined the board in 2014 and has acted as vice-chair and lead independent director since 2017, has decided not to stand for re-election.

“Kai S. Nargolwala, who joined the board in 2013 and has held the role of chair of the compensation committee since 2017, and Juan Colombas, who joined recently, have also decided that they will not stand for re-election at the upcoming AGM.

“Christian Gellerstad, who joined the board in 2019, will be appointed as vice-chair and lead independent director as well as chair of the compensation committee, taking over from Kai S. Nargolwala, subject to his re-election at the upcoming AGM.”

Credit Suisse chairman Axel Lehmann said: “I would like to thank Severin, Kai and Juan for their respective invaluable contributions.

“Severin and Kai, in particular, deserve the highest recognition for having helped steer the company through some challenging periods with commitment, perseverance and dedication.

“At the same time, I am extremely pleased that Christian Gellerstad is prepared to accept the appointment of vice-chair and lead independent director of the board and chair of the compensation committee, subject to his re-election at the upcoming AGM.

“Christian’s profound business and financial industry expertise will help him oversee the strategic transformation of the bank, and in particular our growth ambitions for Wealth Management.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.