Credit Suisse’s board member in charge of its risk committee has stepped down as fallout from “unacceptable” losses in the wake of collapses at Archegos Capital and Greensill Capital continues to roil the Swiss-based bank.
Andreas Gottschling told the bank Friday he would not stand for re-election. Proxy adviser Glass Lewis and other investors had been urging shareholders to vote against extending his term. Gottschling served on the Credit Suisse board since 2017 and on the board of Credit Suisse International since 2018, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Board Member Richard Meddings, chair of Credit Suisse’s audit committee, replaces Gottschling as interim chair of risk.
Credit Suisse’s finances took a major hit in the first quarter because of the Archegos and Greensill collapses. The bank lost $4.7 billion through its exposure to U.S. hedge fund Archegos and is likely to write off more than $2.3 billion following the bankruptcy of U.K.-based Greensill.
Credit Suisse CEO Thomas Gottstein called the losses “unacceptable” during a recent call to discuss first-quarter results.
Turning the page
Credit Suisse on Friday welcomed António Horta-Osório as its new chairman of the board. Horta-Osório replaces Urs Rohner, who had been chair for 10 years and a member of the board for the maximum standard term of 12 years.
Horta-Osório has 30 years of experience in banking. He spent the past 10 years as group chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, the largest retail and commercial bank in the United Kingdom.
Upon beng named chair, Horta-Osório made clear in his remarks that risk management will be his top priority at Credit Suisse.
“We need to foster a culture that reinforces the importance of risk management, ensures that we have the right incentives in place, including on remuneration, and focuses on personal responsibility and accountability,” Horta-Osório said in a statement. “A culture where every single employee can be proud of what we stand for and how we act. … A tough period and hard decisions lay ahead of us. There are no miracle quick fixes nor such things as infallibility. You have my personal commitment that I will work relentlessly with the Board and the management team to take on the challenges that lie ahead of us.”
Among those challenges is regulatory scrutiny. The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) announced in April it was widening probes into the bank’s activities and its exposure to both collapses.
New general counsel
Credit Suisse on April 26 announced the appointment of Renato Costantini as general counsel of Credit Suisse Switzerland. In this role, Costantini will also be a member of the executive board of Credit Suisse Switzerland and of the management committee of the Swiss Universal Bank division.
Costantini succeeds Thomas Grotzer, who has served as interim global head of compliance at Credit Suisse Group AG since April 6. Grotzer was one of two executives tapped to fill interim roles when Lara Warner, the bank’s former chief risk and compliance officer, stepped down amid early fallout from the Archegos collapse.