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Why Horta-Osório should pivot Credit Suisse to Asia

With Greensill and Archegos, António Horta-Osório has more on his plate than a medieval King. But Credit Suisse’s new chair could do something that would placate doubters and please investors: pivot firmly to Asia.

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António Horta-Osório has been busy since he replaced Urs Rohner as chair of Credit Suisse on April 30.

He hasn’t ducked the myriad challenges his new employer faces in the wake of the Greensill fiasco and the collective calumny of Archegos Capital Management.

He has committed to a hands-on role in a strategic review of the Swiss bank’s risk management, culture and future options.

On May 3, he signalled his belief in its future by buying SFr1.1 million ($1.21 million) of its stock.

What and where does a bank founded in 1856 want to be and look like in 2026?

So far, so good – but is there a far bigger call the Portuguese banker can make as he embarks on the biggest job of his career?

Let’s overlook the slumping share price and the SFr900 million first-quarter loss, and imagine Credit Suisse as a single entity, having an honest conversation about its future.

Horta-Osório and his embattled chief executive Thomas Gottstein should ask themselves a single question: what and where does a bank founded in 1856 want to be and look like in 2026?

A good answer would start and end with the following words: wealth management, Asia and, within the latter context, China.