Credit Suisse CEO Paid $19.4 Million In Cash And Shares Last Year

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Zurich: Credit Suisse Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam received 18.9 million Swiss francs ($19.4 million or nearly Rs. 130 crore) in cash and share awards from the Swiss bank in 2015 even after requesting a 40 per cent bonus cut, according to its annual report.

Thiam, who took over at Credit Suisse from British insurer Prudential last July, is five months into implementing his new strategy for the Zurich-based bank.

For 2015, he received 4.57 million francs in total pay, 2.86 million francs of which was in bonuses.

His pay was topped up by 14.3 million francs in replacement awards in Credit Suisse shares to compensate for the cancellation of deferred awards from Prudential. The shares are vested over three years.

Prudential paid Thiam 11.8 million pounds ($16.6 million) in 2014, a 35 per cent increase on his 2013 compensation, following a bumper incentive plan payout in his final year in charge.

Thiam’s predecessor as chief executive of Switzerland’s second-biggest bank, Brady Dougan, made 9.7 million francs in 2014. Credit Suisse said it paid bonuses in 2015 to its five departing executive board members, including Dougan, totalling 21 million francs.

Since taking charge, Thiam has put a new structure in place, raised around 6 billion francs in capital and is cutting back its volatile investment banking business while focusing on more stable wealth management.

“Notwithstanding these achievements, Mr Thiam requested that his target level of compensation discussed at the time he joined Credit Suisse be reduced by 40 per cent, given the weaker financial performance of the group during 2015,” Credit Suisse said in its annual report.

REVISED BLUEPRINT
Credit Suisse is coming off the back of its first full-year loss since 2008 after booking a big impairment charge at its investment banking business at the end of 2015.

On Wednesday, while announcing 800 million francs in additional cost cuts and plans to shrink its investment bank further, Thiam said the bank would most likely remain in the red in the first quarter of 2016 after exceptional items.

Credit Suisse shares rose on Wednesday’s strategy update, which stepped up some of the initiatives in Thiam’s initial blueprint from Oct. 21.

However, gains were wiped out on Thursday after shares fell as much 4.6 per cent amid concerns remain over steep losses on Credit Suisse’s illiquid credit portfolio.

Thiam has said things had clearly gone wrong but the bank was now confident the problems had been identified.

“We argued CS needed a ‘Plan B’,” Morgan Stanley analysts, who have an “equal-weight” rating on Credit Suisse’s stock, wrote in a note.

“The good news is we now have a new one with commitment to less capital intensity and lower costs. But the bad news is this came after $1 billion of MTM (mark to market) losses on portfolios that the CEO said he was ‘not aware of on that scale’.”