Credit Suisse: A culture rooted in detail
Ask a senior executive at Credit Suisse to provide you with some colour, and more likely than not they will quickly segue into a new realm of detail.
This highly numerate approach appears to inform the way the investment bank is run, and fits in well with the new-model investment bank its management has created. One can almost imagine them enjoying the arduous task of crunching pro forma numbers before they announced the new strategy, first to the board and then to the markets.
A fresh management team now has a business model, based on transparency and fair-value accounting, that suits its individuals.
But while the senior team is relatively new in its positions, its connection with the bank – and the executives’ relationships with each other through it – is of long standing.
Group chief executive Brady Dougan has been with Credit Suisse for 19 years. He took the top job – breaking new ground as a non-Swiss as chief executive – in 2007. Dougan is studious, considered and does not slip easily into marketing spiel. If he is afflicted by the egocentricities of most senior bankers, he manages to hide it well.
His work ethic and attention to detail go back to his formative years.