Expatica news

Ex-Credit Suisse boss recruited by Rwandan government

Tidjane Thiam, who resigned as CEO of Swiss bank Credit Suisse in February, has been tasked with using his connections to build up the Rwandan capital Kigali as an international business location, according to Swiss business newspaper Handelszeitung.

Ivory Coast-born Thiam, who also holds French citizenship, has been named president of Rwanda Finance Limited, a government company that is to set up the Kigali International Financial Centre (KIFC), said Handelszeitung, quoting pan-African weekly news magazine Jeune Afrique. The appointment was signed by Prime Minister Édouard Ngirente at the end of a cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame on Wednesday.

The economy of authoritarian-ruled Rwanda suffered heavily in the wake of the 1994 genocide. The government now wants to turn the country into a “Singapore of Africa”, Handelszeitung reported.

The plan is for Thiam, with his experience and broad network of contacts from his time in politics and at McKinsey, Prudential and Credit Suisse, to play a key role in this, it said.

Thiam, 58, resigned after losing the confidence of the Credit Suisse board following a spying scandal that seriously damaged the bank’s reputation. Major shareholders had pushed for him to stay. Thiam radically reshaped the bank since joining in July 2015, expanding its wealth management division while downsizing its volatile and capital-intensive trading arm.