Credit Suisse board changes; McDonagh CEO of EMEA

Credit Suisse Group announced on Wednesday a number of major changes to its executive board and management team — including the appointment of Bank of Ireland’s departing CEO Francesca McDonagh as Credit Suisse’s CEO for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

Bank of Ireland announced late on Tuesday that McDonagh will step down as its group chief executive officer.

Analysts blamed a salary cap that was imposed at banks in Ireland that were bailed out by the government during the financial crisis a decade ago.

McDonagh will take over as Credit Suisse’s EMEA CEO by October 1, 2022, from Francesco De Ferrari, CEO of the wealth management division, who has held this position on an ad interim basis since January 2022.

McDonagh, who will be based in Zurich, will also join the executive board, reporting directly to group CEO Thomas Gottstein.

David Mathers, who has served as Credit Suisse chief financial officer since 2010 and as CEO of Credit Suisse International (CSI) since 2016, has indicated “his wish to seek alternative opportunities” outside of Credit Suisse.

“David has agreed to continue his responsibilities until suitable successors for both of his roles have been found, ensuring an orderly transition,” said the bank.

“Credit Suisse has launched an internal and external search, a process in which David will be involved, to find the optimal candidates for the two roles.”

Helman Sitohang has announced his intention to step down from his current role as CEO of the Asia Pacific (APAC) region on June 1, 2022.

Edwin Low, who has been with the bank since 1996, will replace Helman on the executive board and report directly to group CEO Gottstein.

Low is currently co-head of investment banking APAC based in Singapore. He is also CEO for Southeast Asia. Before joining Credit Suisse, he worked at Schroders Australia and with law firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques, where he was admitted as a barrister and solicitor.

Sitohang, who was appointed CEO of APAC in 2014 and joined the executive board a year later, will stay with Credit Suisse and become senior advisor to the group CEO, focusing on core clients and strategic development around the APAC region.

Markus Diethelm joins Credit Suisse on July 1, 2022, as General Counsel, succeeding Romeo Cerutti, who will retire after more than 10 years in the position.

Diethelm will also join the executive board and report directly to group CEO Gottstein.

Diethelm was most recently at UBS Group, where he served as General Counsel and member of the group executive board from 2014 to 2021. He held the same role at UBS AG from 2008.

Credit Suisse chairman Axel Lehmann said: “I would like to welcome Francesca and Markus to Credit Suisse, while congratulating Edwin on his promotion.

“They bring a wealth of experience and impressive track records in their respective areas, with the right risk mindset required to help drive the implementation of our strategic and cultural transformation.

“I would like to thank David, Romeo and Helman for their years of service and their commitment to Credit Suisse.”

Group CEO Thomas Gottstein said: “I am looking forward to having Francesca, Markus and Edwin on the executive board given their deep professional insights and profound knowledge of the financial-services industry.

“At the same time, I would like to thank Romeo, David and Helman for their service to the bank in their important roles over such a significant period of time. I wish Romeo well for his future endeavors.

“I have accepted David’s request with regret and look forward to continuing working with David over the coming months until a successor is found.

“And finally, I am delighted that Helman will continue to support me and Edwin in his new role, focusing on our most important APAC clients and advise me on our strategy implementation in the APAC region.”

The appointments are subject to final regulatory approval.

About the Author

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.