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Five things to know about new Credit Suisse Chairman Lehmann

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Antonio Horta-Osorio speaks during the British Chambers of Commerce annual meeting in central London, Britain February 10, 2015. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth//File Photo

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Jan 17 (Reuters) – Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) Chairman Antonio Horta-Osorio resigned on Monday following an investigation by the Swiss bank’s board into his personal conduct.

He will be replaced by Axel Lehmann, who joined Credit Suisse’s board in October to lead its risk committee following a series of scandals. Read more

Here are five facts about Lehmann.

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TRANSVERSE JOINERY

Lehmann, 62, joined Credit Suisse’s board in October 2021 to head its risk committee. He left UBS (UBSG.S), the Swiss lender which has had a relatively better recent history than its long distance rival.

Lehmann served on UBS’s board of directors from 2009 to 2015 before joining its executive ranks. In 2016, he was appointed Chief Operating Officer of UBS, a position he held for two years before becoming Co-Chairman of Personal and Corporate Banking and Chairman of UBS Switzerland between 2018 and 2021.

CAREER IN INSURANCE

Prior to UBS, Lehmann had a 20-year career in the insurance industry, working briefly at Swiss Life before taking on a series of senior positions in Zurich (ZURN.S). He was managing director of the European and then North American activities of the insurer before becoming chief risk officer of Zurich between 2009 and 2015.

DIGITAL DEVELOPER

Lehmann has been recruited by Credit Suisse to get its risk management back on track, but his interest in digital could also be exploited by the bank.

While at UBS, he helped establish “digital factories” in Zurich to develop and deploy new online platforms for clients around the world.

He also announced early last year that UBS was to close one in five bank branches in Switzerland as the pandemic shifted the acceleration to online banking.

SWISS NATIONAL

Lehmann is a Swiss citizen, which means the lender is breaking the tradition of its chief executive or chairman being a foreign national, since CEO Thomas Gottstein is also from Switzerland.

Lehmann is an adjunct professor at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland where he also obtained his doctorate.

STRATEGY

Lehmann said he is unlikely to ask the bank to change the turnaround course set by Horta-Osorio or Gottstein.

“The strategy is not up for discussion,” Lehmann told Reuters on Monday, adding that Gottstein was “absolutely central” to the bank.

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Reporting by Rachel Armstrong; Editing by Susan Fenton

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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