Horta-Osório as chairman must find his true role at Credit Suisse
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Horta-Osório as chairman must find his true role at Credit Suisse

As the outsiders – those foreign nationals who turned around Europe’s largest banks – move on, it is not immediately obvious how well Lloyds’ António Horta-Osório fits Credit Suisse.


The merry-go-round is speeding up once more for senior European bankers, as each day brings news of the latest executive to scramble onto a new ride.

Are they each ending up in the right seats, though?

António Horta-Osório is one of the most highly regarded for his turnaround of Lloyds Banking Group.

The Portuguese banker, who had risen through the ranks at Santander to run its UK operations, took a basket-case institution riddled with bad debts that had to be nationalized after the great financial crisis and turned it into the UK’s leading retail and commercial bank.

There are many famous stories of his time at Lloyds, but none resonate as loudly as that of him turning up for his first day as chief executive in 2011 at 6.30am and banging on the doors, frustrated that he could not even get in until a security guard eventually appeared.

I feel a little sorry for [Gottstein]. António will want to run the place

Horta-Osório’s own health suffered for his furious commitment, but Lloyds changed. He is only 56 and, since announcing in July that he would step down as chief executive of the bank by June 2021 at the latest, he has been talked about as a potential CEO elsewhere.


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