Swiss headquartered financial services group Credit Suisse has appointed former McKinsey & Company consultant Tidjane Thiam as its new CEO. Thiam succeeds Brady Dougan.
Tidjane Thiam was born in the Ivory Coast in 1962. At twenty he started studying in Paris, where he graduated top of his class. During his MBA-study at INSEAD he was accepted into McKinsey’s Fellows Programme in Paris. In 1988 he received his MBA, and thereafter he took part in the World Bank's Young Professionals Program in Washington, D.C., after which he started working for McKinsey & Company as a consultant – first in New York and then in Paris.
On invitation from the president of the Ivory Coast, Thiam returned to the Ivory Coast in the 90s, where he took up the role of Minister of Planning and Development for a number of years. In 1999 there was a coup d'etat and he was held prisoner for a short time. Refusing to work for the new head of state, Guéï, he left for Europe in 2000. With his return to Europe, Thiam was offered a partnership at McKinsey & Company, which saw him take on a leading role in the Financial Service practice at the consultancy firm. Subsequently he worked for at Aviva, a British insurer, and from 2007 at rival Prudential, where he was started as CFO and quickly became CEO. Last month it was announced he would leave the role of CEO at Prudential, and it has now been disclosed he will be stepping over to the Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse.
Thiam, now 52, takes over from Brady Dougan who has lead the bank for eight years. Dougan pulled the bank through the worst of the crisis, however, in 2012 the bank was finally drawn into legal issues after it was found to have sold risky mortgage products in the US without sufficiently disclosing their risk profile. Due to the alleged misleading of its clients, Credit Suisse has an $11.2 billion fine hanging over their heads. It is now the task of Thiam to see the bank through the turbulent times of the legal proceedings.
In 2014 the bank was fined following a lawsuit in US. Credit Suisse was implicated in having helped Americans evade taxes and settled for $2.5 billion with the tax authorities. The current case surrounding the misleading of risks on mortgage products sold to clients has however, not yet been settled.