Credit Suisse: Time to deliver
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Credit Suisse: Time to deliver

Tidjane Thiam needs to prove that the new-look Credit Suisse can thrive and not just survive - and he might just do it

Credit Suisse shareholders have had a pretty appalling experience over the last five years or so. 

They have seen a bank laid low. They have been asked to dip into their pockets for not just one, but two rights issues. They have complained about executive pay. Some have called for a break-up of the business. And they have had to understand a strategy that often seems baffling and inconsistent to the outside world.

So when embattled chief executive Tidjane Thiam and his executive team hosted an investor day at the end of November, it was a crucial moment for the bank. Could Thiam show his three-year restructuring plan was on track? 

The jury is still out on that, but Thiam pulled a rabbit out of the hat – a commitment to return half of profits to those beleaguered shareholders once the restructuring was complete and, for the first time, a firm commitment to returns on equity: 10% to 11% in 2019, and 11% to 12% the year after.

Thiam is bullish about what this means. 

“I am very shareholder focused,” he tells Euromoney.

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