Credit Suisse hunts CEO in asset management shake up

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Credit Suisse is to appoint a single chief executive and a senior management team within the next six months to combine its three asset management businesses into one.

The chief executive, to be based in London, will be responsible for more than Sfr1.2 trillion ($1 trillion) of assets.

Internal and external candidates are to be considered for the high-profile role. Michael Kenneally, chairman and global chief executive of CSAM and chief executive of Credit Suisse Funds, is understood to be a contender.

Speaking to Financial News in Zurich last week, Oswald Gruebel, chief executive of Credit Suisse, criticised the performance of the bank's asset management business and pledged to improve it over the next two years.

He said: "We have different asset management businesses within the group and our reorganisation plan will bring these into a single asset management unit within the next 18 months."

The move to unify the asset management businesses has been driven by the need to extract synergies from the management of assets and to avoid having different opinions of the market.

Credit Suisse's asset and wealth management businesses include CSAM, Private Client Services and the Alternative Capital division.

CSAM lost Sfr3.2bn (€2.06bn) in assets under management in the final quarter of 2004, according to last week's figures. The group attributed the outflows to the loss of two large accounts, which are believed to be from the Asia Pacific region.

Net revenue for the Wealth and Asset Management division rose by 8% year-on-year to Sfr1.02bn in 2004.

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