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November 14, 2022

Credit Suisse faces criticism over handling of revamp efforts

Credit Suisse has received flakes from at least two of its investors and a proxy adviser over the issue of managing its newly announced restructuring plan, reported Reuters.

The investors have expressed concerns regarding Credit Suisse’s way of handling the ‘potential conflicts of interest’ of two of the company’s directors after it revealed a plan to offload parts of its investment banking business.

As part of the revamp, Credit Suisse will split its business and spin off its investment banking arm to concentrate more on its profit-making wealth management activities.

However, the investors are casting doubts over some of the decision-making process of the company.

Credit Suisse board member Michael Klein had worked with chairman Axel Lehmann and other executives of the Swiss bank in early February to draw an overhauling plan, a person privy to the development told the publication.

Late last month, Klein resigned from the board to join the proposed spin-off, which is newly branded as CS First Boston.

Klein is expected to become CEO of the division next year, following regulatory approvals.

According to Ethos Foundation, which owns over 3% of Credit Suisse, the firm should be transparent on the process used to select Klein to head CS First Boston.

Roger Said of proxy adviser Actares also told the publication that both Klein and Blythe Masters, a Credit Suisse member who was also involved in revamp, “could profit at Credit Suisse’s expense.”

Actares currently caters to individual investors that include shareholders of Credit Suisse.

Separately, Reuters reported that Credit Suisse laid-off eight employees in its investment banking and capital markets division in southeast Asia.

The move has affected the products, sector coverage and capital markets teams.

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