A spying furore rocks Credit Suisse

AT NOON ON September 17th, in central Zurich, Iqbal Khan confronted a man he suspected of following him. The suspicion was correct. The incident sparked a criminal investigation, still under way, and a speedy inquiry by Homburger, a law firm, for Credit Suisse, Mr Khan’s former employer. The inquiry led on October 1st to the resignation of Pierre-Olivier Bouée, the bank’s chief operating officer, and Remo Boccali, its head of security.

Until July Mr Khan oversaw Credit Suisse’s wealth-management business outside Switzerland and Asia. He was a star. The chief executive, Tidjane Thiam, was reorienting the bank towards wealth management and away from the riskier bits of investment banking, and after a rocky start the bet was paying off. In the second quarter of 2019 the bank’s return on equity was 9.7%, a shade under the 10% that investors regard as par. Revenues and profits in Mr Khan’s division had grown nicely.

Alas, Mr Thiam and his talented, ambitious protégé had fallen out. Living next door to each other made matters worse. Mr Thiam was reportedly annoyed by Mr Khan’s lengthy building works; Mr Khan, by Mr Thiam’s planting of trees on the boundary. Eventually Mr Khan quit the bank. On August 29th UBS, Credit Suisse’s bigger local rival, said he would become its co-head of global wealth management.

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via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

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