Credit Suisse Names Tidjane Thiam as CEO

Credit Suisse Names Tidjane Thiam as CEO

The French Ivorian businessman has been the chief executive of British insurer Prudential since 2008.

Published March 12, 2015

Tidjane Thiam, the chief executive of British insurer Prudential, will succeed Brady Dougan as chief executive officer of Swiss bank Credit Suisse, CNBC recently reported.

After becoming the first Black chief executive of an FTSE 100 company, the 52-year-old French Ivorian businessman successfully navigated Prudential through the financial crisis. He has received high praise for almost tripling the insurer's stock price during his seven year tenure and focusing on the high-growth markets of Asia to boost operating profits by 14 percent.  

“The job is not to stay for as long as possible,” Thiam said, as reported by The New York Times. “The job is to do the job for a period of time, to leave a company that is better than the one you received and can continue to grow and do well.”

Shares of Credit Suisse reportedly closed up 6.7 percent upon the news of Thiam's joining the bank, while shares of Prudential dropped 2.6 percent.

"Although the board will be sorry to see him go, we understand his desire to take on a new challenge with another global leader in a different part of the financial services sector, headquartered in Switzerland, and we wish him every success in his new role," Paul Manduca, chairman of Prudential, said about Thiam in a recent press release.  

Prior to working with Prudiential, Thiam served as the minister for planning and development in his home country of Ivory Coast for a period and also worked for McKinsey, the consulting firm, in New York and Paris, and an insurance company Aviva.

In 1982, He became the first Ivorian to pass the entrance examination to the competitive École Polytechnique in Paris.

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(Photo: Michael Buholzer/AFP/Getty Images)

Written by Patrice Peck

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