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Credit Suisse hires Goldman partner to lead risk turnaround

Credit Suisse

(Reuters) — Credit Suisse on Tuesday appointed Goldman Sachs partner David Wildermuth its new chief risk officer, as it seeks to turn the corner on the Archegos and Greensill scandals that have rocked Switzerland's second-biggest bank.

Zurich-based Credit Suisse has been cutting risk after its prime brokerage business lost billions from the collapse of family office Archegos, and as its asset management division scrambles to return some $10 billion of client investments linked to insolvent supply chain finance company Greensill.

Those scandals have prompted firings, executive changes and regulatory investigations, as well as a planned strategic overhaul that Chairman Antonio Horta-Osorio has said aims to make risk and cultural change a top priority.

Mr. Wildermuth's appointment marks a coup for Credit Suisse and the second time this month the bank has tapped the upper echelons of the Wall Street giant to boost its executive ranks, after earlier naming Joanne Hannaford its chief technology and operations officer from Jan. 1.

Goldman Sachs, along with Credit Suisse, was one of at least a handful of global banks embroiled when Archegos Capital Management began defaulting on margin calls, prompting a marketwide fire sale of stocks in March.

However, a late 2020 compliance review, which required the family office to stock up on more collateral, and swift trading in March helped Goldman exit the stricken fund while avoiding significant losses.

Credit Suisse's former chief risk and compliance officer, Lara Warner, was one of the Swiss bank's high-level casualties after it lost more than any competitor from the Archegos debacle. The bank separated the risk and compliance roles following her departure.

Mr. Wildermuth, a 24-year Goldman Sachs veteran, was appointed deputy chief risk officer at the U.S. financial giant in 2015 and has been a partner since 2010. He will assume his new role on Feb. 1, 2022, at the latest, Credit Suisse said, and will be based in Zurich.