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Press Release

Credit Suisse Group announces appointments to the Executive Board in line with its new strategy; new Board of Directors leadership appointments to enhance governance of subsidiary Boards

Ad hoc announcement pursuant to article 53 LR

Credit Suisse Group today announces the appointment of Francesco De Ferrari as CEO of the Wealth Management division. He will join the Executive Board of Credit Suisse Group, effective January 1, 2022, reporting to Group Chief Executive Officer Thomas Gottstein. Francesco De Ferrari has also been appointed as ad interim CEO of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. Christian Meissner, CEO of the Investment Bank division, has been appointed as CEO of the Americas region. In addition, Helman Sitohang and André Helfenstein have been appointed as CEOs of the APAC and Switzerland regions, respectively. Further, Mark Hannam has been named as Head of Internal Audit. Finally, Credit Suisse announces a new Board of Directors model structure to enhance the effectiveness and governance of the subsidiary Boards.

The new appointments are in line with the Group’s new strategy and organizational structure, as announced in November 2021, which is designed to move Credit Suisse to a matrix organization to allow for the best possible implementation of the strategy of strengthening, simplifying and investing for growth.  

From January 1, 2022, the Group will be organized into four business divisions – Wealth Management, Investment Bank, Swiss Bank and Asset Management – and four geographic regions – EMEA, Americas, Switzerland and APAC, with the following leadership:

Business divisions Geographic regions
  • Wealth Management – Francesco De Ferrari
  • Investment Bank – Christian Meissner
  • Swiss Bank – André Helfenstein
  • Asset Management – Ulrich Körner
  • EMEA – Francesco De Ferrari (ad interim)
  • Americas – Christian Meissner
  • Switzerland – André Helfenstein
  • APAC – Helman Sitohang

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 Francesco 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. 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. 

António Horta-Osório, Chairman of the Board of Directors, 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.”

Thomas Gottstein, Group CEO, 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.”

Francesco De Ferrari is joining Credit Suisse from AMP Ltd., where he was CEO from December 2018 to June 2021, overseeing a portfolio of businesses ranging from life insurance to asset management products, pensions and banking, as well as joint ventures across China and the US. Previously, he worked for Credit Suisse Group from 2002 to 2018, and he held a number of senior roles including Head of Private Banking APAC and CEO of South East Asia and Frontier Markets. Between 2008 and 2011, Francesco De Ferrari held the role of CEO Private Banking Italy, after previously serving as Business Chief Operating Officer for Private Banking EMEA. Between 2002 and 2006, he held various roles at Credit Suisse in Italy including Chief Operating Officer for the country. Between 1990 and 2001, he worked for various companies such as Nestlé and McKinsey in different roles.

Francesco 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. He will be based in Zurich and will report directly to Group CEO Thomas Gottstein.

David Wildermuth will join Credit Suisse and the Executive Board as Chief Risk Officer 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 communicated, Christine Graeff will take over from Antoinette Poschung as Global Head of Human Resources on February 1, 2022 and will join the Executive Board at such time. All other Executive Board members will maintain their respective roles.

The full new Executive Board composition, effective January 1, 2022, can be seen here: https://www.credit-suisse.com/media/assets/about-us/docs/our-company/our-management/211213-exb-org-chart.pdf

Credit Suisse today also appointed Mark Hannam as Head of Internal Audit. He will join on April 1, 2022, reporting directly to Richard Meddings, Chair of the Audit Committee. He joins Credit Suisse from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), where he served as a Partner for the past two decades. He most recently had an oversight role for audit quality across a number of PwC firms within its international network. During his career, he provided audit or advisory services for a number of systemically important financial services companies, while also working with a number of US Securities and Exchange Commission Foreign Registrants as audit clients or in an advisory capacity. 

Richard Meddings, Chair of the Audit Committee, said: “I am delighted to welcome Mark to Credit Suisse. He joins with an impressive track record in making sure that risk management, governance and internal control processes are operating effectively. It is a crucial role and his skills and background will be invaluable in contributing to shaping and implementing the bank’s new strategy and risk culture going forward.”

Subsidiary and regional Boards of Directors appointments

Credit Suisse also announced the reshaping of its main regional subsidiary and advisory Boards’ composition whereby a member of the Group Board of Directors will become the Chair of each of the Group’s main regional subsidiary and advisory Boards.

António Horta-Osório, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said: “By increasing the connectivity between the Group Board and our main regional subsidiary and advisory Boards, Credit Suisse should achieve a greater alignment between regions and business divisions, enhancing its ability to accelerate the embedding of a culture focused on risk management, responsibilities and accountability globally. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Peter Derendinger, John Devine and Bruce Richards for their very valuable contributions as Chairs of the Boards of Credit Suisse (Schweiz) AG, Credit Suisse International and Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) Ltd. as well as Credit Suisse Holdings (USA), Inc., respectively.”

An additional three subsidiary and advisory Boards were recently approved for elevation to the so-called “Category 1” level, which introduces enhanced oversight and governance between the Group Board and our main regional Boards, i.e. the APAC Board, the Credit Suisse Bank (Europe), S.A. Board and the Brazil Advisory Board have been elevated, resulting in six regional Boards of strategic importance. Along with the previously announced appointment of Ana Paula Pessoa to Chair of the Brazil Advisory Board, Credit Suisse today announced and confirmed the following members of the Group Board of Directors as Chairs of the respective subsidiary and regional Boards, effective from January 1, 2022, unless mentioned otherwise:

  • Juan Colombas– Credit Suisse Bank (Europe), S.A.
  • Christian Gellerstad2 – Credit Suisse (Schweiz) AG
  • Blythe Masters – Credit Suisse Holdings (USA), Inc.
  • Richard Meddings1 – Credit Suisse International and Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) Ltd. (in the UK)
  • Kai Nargolwala3 – Credit Suisse Asia Pacific
  • Ana Paula Pessoa – Credit Suisse Brazil

Furthermore, a new Group Board Committee, the Digital Transformation and Technology Committee, is being established, effective January 1, 2022. It will be chaired by Blythe Masters. This Group Board Committee will provide direct oversight and governance on key technology and digitalization topics and replace the current Innovation and Technology (Advisory) Committee. In order to dedicate her full attention to her new responsibilities, Blythe Masters will step down from both the Risk and Compensation Committees.

Finally, the Group Board of Directors will, over time, move to a composition with a maximum of 12 members, despite these additional responsibilities.