Credit Suisse names Varvel as investment bank CEO

Credit Suisse names Varvel as investment bank CEO

Zurich: Credit Suisse named Eric Varvel permanent head of its investment bank on Thursday, taking over from Paul Calello who is suffering from a serious illness.

The reshuffle at the unit also sees Switzerland’s second largest bank behind UBS giving more weight to growth markets such as Brazil and Russia as the current heads of these areas are promoted within the division.

The move comes after Varvel took up the role of CEO last September on an interim basis following the “sudden and unexpected illness" of Calello.

The bank said at the time Calello, who has worked for Credit Suisse for around 20 years, would remain as involved in the business as far as an intensive programme of treatment for the unspecified illness would allow.

“Eric Varvel has done an excellent job as acting CEO of the investment bank. He and Paul have established a great partnership. Their new roles will enable them to continue to provide outstanding leadership for the investment bank," CEO Brady Dougan said in a statement.

Credit Suisse emerged quickly and without state aid from the financial crisis and posted hefty trading gains in 2009 while others struggled.

At 0731 GMT, Credit Suisse shares were down 1%, in line with a 1% fall in the Stoxx Europe 600 Banks index.

Growth markets prominence

Varvel will be replaced as CEO of the Europe, Middle East and Africa region by Fawzi Kyriakos-Saad, currently CEO of Russia, the CIS and Turkey, while Antonio Quintella, who is head of Brazil, will take up the post of CEO of the Americas region.

Quintella is taking over from Rob Shafir, who will stay on as CEO of asset management, Credit Suisse said.

“It does seem that Credit Suisse is giving these countries more importance and prominence in the decision-making body of the board," Bank Sarasin analyst Rainer Skierka said.

Swiss banks are increasingly looking to strengthen their positions in places such as Brazil, Russia and Asia, which are currently seen as the growth markets of wealth management, while clients there are also less affected by the assault to Switzerland’s once vaunted bank secrecy than clients in Europe.

“These are very important markets in terms of growth potential for larger Swiss banks," ZKB analyst Andreas Venditti said.