Credit Suisse Group AG is raising $2 billion from investors and cutting the hedge fund unit at the center of the Archegos Capital Management losses as Chief Executive Officer Thomas Gottstein seeks to recover from one of the most turbulent periods in the bank’s recent history.
Credit Suisse, which has exited about 97% of its exposure to Archegos, expects a related 600 million-franc ($654 million) loss in the second quarter, taking the total hit from the collapse to about $5.5 billion. In response, it’s cutting about a third of its exposure in the prime business catering to hedge fund clients, while strengthening capital with the sale of notes converting into shares.
Gottstein is battling to rescue his short tenure as chief executive officer after Credit Suisse was hit harder than any other competitor by the collapse of Archegos, the family office of U.S. investor Bill Hwang. The timing of the blowup could hardly have been worse, coming just weeks after Credit Suisse found itself at the center of the Greensill Capital scandal, when it was forced to suspend investment funds. While seeking to placate investors hurt by the losses, he also now faces the fresh challenge of navigating enforcement proceedings announced by Swiss regulator Finma on Thursday.
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The double whammy wiped out a year of profit and left Gottstein fighting to demonstrate to incoming Chairman Antonio Horta-Osorio that he’s of the right mettle to carry the bank through the volatility which has left investors nursing losses and questioning its strategy and controls. Having taken on the position more than a year ago, the CEO had stumbled over other hits before Greensill shattered what was supposed to be a new era of calm.
The two scandals have left the CEO standing while many once powerful members of his management board had to leave. Gone are investment banking head Brian Chin and Chief Risk Officer Lara Warner, along with a raft of other senior executives including equities head Paul Galietto and the co-heads of the prime brokerage business. Asset management head Eric Varvel is also being replaced in that role by ex-UBS Group AG veteran Ulrich Koerner.
The bank has also suspended its share buyback and cut the dividend.
Credit Suisse fell as much as 6.9% in Zurich trading and was 6.1% lower as of 11:19 a.m. local time, taking this year’s losses to about 23%.
The bank plans to reduce risk at the investment bank, including cutting about $35 billion of leverage exposure at the prime brokerage unit — which services its hedge fund clients, Gottstein said in an interview with…