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Dougan undermined by underwhelming Credit Suisse

Brady Dougan is meant to be an excellent manager and people enjoy working for him.

But things seem to be going wrong at Switzerland’s other bank, Credit Suisse. This is odd because Credit Suisse was one of the winners of the financial crisis. It emerged with a strong balance sheet and a client-focused business model.

The ink was hardly dry on the press coverage concerning UBS’s restructuring when its Swiss rival rushed in, arms flailing, with its own reorganization. Instead of giving investors what they wanted – a slimmed-down investment bank – Credit Suisse offered up a complex hotchpotch that brings the phrase "dog’s breakfast" to mind.

The firm is splitting its global investment banking operations from those in Switzerland. The Swiss securities business is merged into a newly combined wealth management and private banking operation. At the private bank, Hans-Ulrich Meister will head the Swiss, European and Asian operations while Rob Shafir will run wealth management products in the Americas. Has Shafir, who joined the firm in 2007 from Lehman Brothers (where he was head of equities and a member of the executive management committee), done anything to justify this promotion? The asset management business, which he has been responsible for since 2008, has not performed particularly well.

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