Credit Suisse’s chief risk and compliance officer has stepped down from her role and left the company following the bank’s loss of an estimated $4.7 billion due to the meltdown of hedge fund Archegos Capital Management.
The Swiss bank announced Tuesday that Lara Warner would depart, effective immediately. Brian Chin, CEO of Credit Suisse’s investment bank, will leave on April 30. The bank also announced it is slashing executives’ benefits packages.
Credit Suisse was perhaps the most severely affected lender to Archegos, which had borrowed significant sums of money from the bank to fund hedged positions in ViacomCBS stock. When the value of ViacomCBS crashed, lenders like Credit Suisse were forced to sell their stock at a heavy loss. Archegos founder Bill Hwang is said to have lost $8 billion in 10 days, called the biggest single firm meltdown since 2008-09.
The Archegos meltdown followed another financial hit to the bank caused by Greensill Capital, a supply chain finance startup that filed for insolvency in March. Credit Suisse has yet to announce the extent of its financial liabilities connected to Greensill’s collapse.
As part of its restructuring of its executive board, Credit Suisse also announced its investigation into the Greensill matter would be expanded to include an examination of what happened with Archegos. “The Board of Directors has launched two investigations, to be carried out by external parties, into the supply chain finance funds matter and into the significant US-based hedge fund matter,” the bank said. “These investigations will be supervised by a special committee of the Board of Directors and will not only focus on the direct issues arising from those matters, but also reflect on the broader consequences and lessons learned.”
Warner had been named chief risk and compliance officer at Credit Suisse less than a year ago, having previously served as the bank’s group chief risk officer. Her promotion involved combining the bank’s risk and compliance functions into one executive board-level position.
To replace Warner, the bank named Joachim Oechslin as interim chief risk officer and appointed him to Warner’s position on the executive board. Oechslin had previously served as Credit Suisse’s chief risk officer and executive board member from 2014-19. He was currently serving as senior advisor and chief of staff to CEO Thomas Gottstein.
Thomas Grotzer, who had previously held several general counsel positions within Credit Suisse, was appointed interim global head of compliance.
Christian Meissner will replace Chin as CEO of the investment bank and member of the executive board on May 1.
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