Home / News / World /  Credit Suisse names Deutsche Bank’s Dixit Joshi as CFO, elevates Francesca McDonagh as CEO

Credit Suisse Group AG has hired Deutsche Bank's Dixit Joshi as its chief financial officer and promoted Francesca McDonagh to chief operating officer.

This comes in the first big leadership reshuffle under the new Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Koerner.

As per Bloomberg, Dixit Joshi will take over the post from 1 October. he will replace David Mathers who previously announced he’s stepping down. 

Whereas Francesca McDonagh, the outgoing CEO of Bank of Ireland Group Plc, was originally hired this year to oversee the Europe, Middle East and Africa region when she joins in September. That role will now fall to wealth management head Francesco de Ferrari, who has run the region in the interim.

The new appointments are the first decisive moves by Koerner, who replaced Thomas Gottstein this month, and signal he’s not afraid to undo decisions made by his predecessors.

They also underscore the urgency of fixing the bank after years of tinkering around the edges left it unable to regain investor confidence. Credit Suisse has promised to unveil a restructuring plan for the investment bank by November, when it reports third-quarter results.

In appointing Joshi, Koerner is tapping an experienced executive who helped stabilize Deutsche Bank when it struggled with credit rating downgrades and investor mistrust several years ago, issues the Swiss firm is now facing itself. Deutsche Bank warned at the time that it was in a “vicious cycle" where higher funding cost drove away clients worried about its financial strength. Joshi had previously worked at Credit Suisse in New York and London between 1995 and 2003.

“Dixit has an impressive turnaround track-record, with a broad experience across a range of investment-banking businesses," Koerner said in a statement Monday. That “will be invaluable on our journey in transforming the investment bank into a highly competitive banking and more sustainable markets business that complements wealth management and the Swiss bank."

Credit Suisse earlier this month had its credit outlook cut to negative by S&P Global Ratings and its senior debt was downgraded by Moody’s Investors Services. The bank has been plagued by financial and reputational hits from the blow-up of Archegos Capital Management and Greensill Capital. With inflation fears and the war in Ukraine spurring more turbulence, its losses have totaled more than $4 billion in the past three quarters.

Meanwhile, Credit Suisse shares fell 0.9 percent at 9:02 a.m. in Zurich trading, declining along with the broader market. The stock has lost 45 percent this year and is trading near a record low.

Koerner, the bank’s fourth CEO since 2015, and Chairman Axel Lehmann want the firm to be an asset gatherer for the world’s rich, and a Swiss bank serving the nation’s corporate champions, people familiar with the matter have said. That could mean that Credit Suisse’s decades of dueling with the titans of Wall Street for a place among the bulge-bracket investment bank elite are potentially over. 

The bank also named Michael Bonacker head of transformation, a key role as it seeks to slash costs and decide on strategy. Bonacker joined Credit Suisse in February, after working as adviser for management consultant Oliver Wyman and head of corporate development at UBS Group AG. He’ll report to McDonagh, who announced in April that she was leaving for Credit Suisse after five years as CEO at Bank of Ireland.

Koerner rejoined Zurich-based Credit Suisse last year after losing out in a management reshuffle at UBS in 2019. He oversaw the asset management unit until taking over as CEO. Michael J. Rongetti will now lead that business in the interim.

(With inputs from Bloomberg)

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