Banker of the year 2018: Tidjane Thiam, Credit Suisse
Tidjane Thiam’s radical three-year plan, which has reinvented Credit Suisse with wealth management at its core, is starting to pay off.
Awards for Excellence 2018
There are two types of chief executives. The first are managers content simply to run and nurture businesses that are already strategically well-tuned. The second set are revolutionaries that pursue radical change.
Tidjane Thiam is the second type.
At Prudential, he was criticized for pursuing the large acquisition of AIA early in his tenure as he sought to re-position the UK-headquartered insurer for Asian growth. Investors grumbled about what they saw as the high cost of that deal. It slipped away and with it their chance to enjoy the enormous value creation that duly followed after AIG floated the business instead.
But it is in recognition of this passionate, intellectual and driven chief executive’s bold overhaul of Credit Suisse that Euromoney picks Tidjane Thiam as our banker of the year for 2018.
Some might say we are a little early. Credit Suisse still has two quarters left to run of a three-year turnaround plan. Quarterly pre-tax income is only just coming back to the level it stood at on the eve of Thiam’s arrival.