Credit Suisse shakes up investment bank unit with new bosses

Fri Oct 17, 2014 4:17am EDT
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By Katharina Bart

ZURICH (Reuters) - Credit Suisse appointed two new investment banking bosses on Friday and promoted them to its top ranks, a move likely to raise fresh questions over its appetite to scale back a unit hit by volatility and lackluster profits.

Zurich-based Credit Suisse, Switzerland's second-largest bank, said Jim Amine, who heads its investment banking department, and Tim O'Hara, who runs equities, will join the 10-person top management under Chief Executive Brady Dougan.

The two will run the investment bank alongside current co-chief Gael de Boissard, a French fixed income trader.

Amine and O'Hara replace Eric Varvel, a 24-year veteran of Credit Suisse who has run the investment bank since 2008. He had run the division jointly with de Boissard since 2013.

Varvel, who spent 15 years in Asia for Credit Suisse including stints in Jakarta and Tokyo, will step down from top management to focus on being chairman of the Asia-Pacific and Middle East, a role he has had for two years.

He will continue to report to CEO Dougan.

Friday's move increases the predominance of investment bankers in Credit Suisse's upper echelons, and the importance of the unit to the management of the bank, which also operates sprawling private banking activities for wealthy clients.

Of ten top executives, three run the investment bank. Two more -- CEO Dougan as well as private bank co-head Rob Shafir -- have investment banking backgrounds.   Continued...

National flags of Switzerland fly over the entrance of the headquarters of Swiss bank Credit Suisse in Zurich July 31, 2014. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann