Credit Suisse appoints Prudential CEO as new chief

10th March 2015, Comments 0 comments

Credit Suisse announced on Tuesday that Tidjane Thiam, currently chief of UK-based insurer Prudential, will take over as chief executive from Brady Dougan who will step down at the end of June.

During his eight-year term Dougan steered the bank through the financial crisis and through a tax evasion probe by the US Justice Department that eventually saw the Swiss banking giant slapped with a $2.8 billion fine.

The US national joined Credit Suisse First Boston in 1990, heading the equities business and, following the merger with Credit Suisse in 2005, was appointed to the top job two years later.

Thiam, 52, has been Prudential's chief executive since 2009 and oversaw the firm's rapid expansion into Asia.

Under his leadership, however, the group failed in its $35.5-billion takeover bid for AIA -- the Asian arm of US insurance giant AIG -- in early 2010.

A dual French-Ivory Coast national, he was born in the African country but grew up in France, where he attended some of the country's most prestigious schools, including Ecole Polytechnique, before joining the McKinsey consulting firm.

He worked for the government of Ivory Coast and for the Aviva insurance company before joining Prudential in 2008 as chief financial officer, becoming chief executive the following year.

"It has been a privilege and a pleasure to lead one of the iconic companies in UK financial services," Thiam said in the statement released by Prudential in London.

"We have successfully navigated some challenging times, including the global financial crisis, and have emerged with four profitable and strongly cash-generative businesses.

"Prudential in Asia has more than doubled in size and profitability since 2009 and is a clear leader in insurance in the world's most populous and dynamic region."

© 2015 AFP

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