Credit Suisse set to create new unit for Middle East push

Sources say Credit Suisse is breaking up its international wealth-management unit into seven regions including one for the Middle East
Credit Suisse set to create new unit for Middle East push
Swiss bank Credit Suisse. (EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)
By Bloomberg
Tue 14 Aug 2018 02:00 PM

Credit Suisse Group is breaking up its international wealth-management unit into seven regions from four in another push by chief executive officer Tidjane Thiam to regionalise the bank, according to people briefed on the matter.

The unit led by Iqbal Khan will give the regions more autonomy to make decisions and each will have its own management, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the change hasn’t been made public.

The seven regions are Latin America, Brazil, Western Europe, Southern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe.

An announcement about the split, dubbed “Project Momentum,” could come as early as this week, the people said.

Switzerland’s second-biggest bank is approaching the final weeks of a three-year overhaul that aims to focus more on wealth management at the expense of volatile investment-banking services.

Thiam, 56, created the international wealth-management unit in 2015, when he took the helm at Credit Suisse. Under Khan’s leadership, adjusted pretax profit increased 50 percent since and is on track to reach a target of 1.8 billion francs ($1.81 billion) by year-end.

Credit Suisse’s move to create more regions within its private bank contrasts with bigger rival UBS Group, the world’s largest wealth manager.

Earlier this year, UBS merged its two main wealth units in a move that could shave annual expenses by 100 million francs.

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