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Credit Suisse’s new strategy is quite familiar

António Horta-Osório shifts more capital away from investment banking and into wealth management, while the executive team sells his risk management overhaul as a growth story.

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Chairman António Horta-Osório surprised Credit Suisse shareholders by springing on them the strategy review they had expected at the end of this year ahead of schedule, presenting it with third-quarter results on Thursday.

Horta-Osório even surprised himself. He has been working on this from his very first off-site with directors and executive management in June, reasoning that he should invest several months in debating all the options for the new direction so obviously needed after the Archegos and Greensill disasters, before setting a course for the next five to 10 years.

He says that the directors and executives came together quicker than he expected around the new strategy. That is probably because it is essentially the old strategy, only with the added component of doing a much better job of risk management.

António Horta-Osório, Credit Suisse. Photo: Reuters

On a day of sombre suits and unsmiling faces, Horta-Osório opened by talking a lot about this. The bank’s shareholders were still paying bills – even after the third quarter of 2021 had ended – for older misdeeds than the horrors of 2021, ranging from problem loans to Mozambique to the infamous surveillance operations of 2019.


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