Credit Suisse CEO pockets $12 million despite back-to-back losses

Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:49pm EDT
 
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By Joshua Franklin

ZURICH (Reuters) - Credit Suisse (CSGN.S: Quote) Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam's pay for his first full year in the job swelled to 11.9 million Swiss francs ($12 million), while bonuses rose 6 percent despite back-to-back annual losses at Switzerland's second-biggest bank.

Executive pay is a hot-button issue in Switzerland, with voters backing a "fat cat" referendum in 2013 giving shareholders a binding vote on pay.

Thiam's pay packet followed a near-3 billion franc loss at Credit Suisse in 2016 amid a major restructuring and penalties for the sale of toxic mortgage debt in the run-up to the financial crisis.

"Overall, the board considered Mr Thiam's strong leadership, consistent execution of the group's communicated strategy, effective delivery of cost efficiencies, principled and ethical conduct, and his role in driving the group toward a stronger capital position in determining that Mr Thiam had met his performance targets set for the year," the bank said in its annual report on Friday.

Thiam, a former Ivorian government minister who is reshaping the bank by boosting wealth management and scaling back investment banking, earned 4.57 million francs in 2015 after joining Credit Suisse from British insurer Prudential at mid-year. He had requested a 40 percent bonus cut that year.

Chairman Urs Rohner's compensation rose to 3.98 million francs in 2016 from 3.2 million. The bank's bonus pool increased to 3.09 billion francs.

Rival UBS (UBSG.S: Quote) paid Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti 13.7 million francs last year and cut its bonus pool by 17 percent to 2.9 billion francs. Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan took home 3.8 million euros ($4.1 million) last year.

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Tidjane Thiam, Chief Executive Officer of Swiss bank Credit Suisse attends the session "The Global Economic Outlook" during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland January 23, 2016. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich/File Photo