You really can’t make this kind of stuff up and actually get away with it. Adding enormous insult to injury, the latest document dump connected to ongoing litigation between jilted former advisors of Credit Suisse’s now defunct (purchased via Wells Fargo) US wealth management operations – makes it clear that Credit Suisse brass are some of the keenest idiots the industry has ever seen. Full stop.
Catalogued in the documents are double-minded emails and conversations about the sale of the division, while also stating that they still wanted to remain ‘in the business’ in some way. What? Take a quick look at a few pieces of commentary from the CEO, Tidjane Thiam, during the rush to sell the division:
“We never agreed never to come back to wealth management,” Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam, still in his first months on the job, wrote to a top executive on the morning of the pullout announcement.”
Uh, okay? Lol.
And how about this one:
“In a message on the morning the Wells Fargo deal was announced, Thiam told Robert Shafir, who was the Americas CEO of Credit Suisse, that he wouldn’t agree to give up serving ultra-high-net-worth clients in the U.S. and would continue offering lending and other products to them. “We do not intend to return to wealth management per se,” he wrote, according to the court documents. “We could agree to be silent on that point.”
Soooo… on the morning of selling their North American wealth management operations the CEO is sending emails about finding ways to somehow stay ‘a little bit pregnant’, but remain silent on that point – BUT IS ANNOUNCING A SALE TO WELLS FARGO!
Seriously – what a clown show. This lends incredible credence to the wealth management meme that real pros in the space manage assets, and those that don’t just manage. In other words, the well educated idiots migrate to the top. And in the case of Credit Suisse and its epic fall from a nice perch among elite investment banks a decade ago, truer words can’t be spoken.
It certainly shouldn’t be wondered why Credit Suisse keeps getting hammered in arbitration connected to deferred comp owed to former advisors when the US WMA portion of the firm shuttered in 2015. The document dump that shows gross incompetence across the C-Suite is striking. A fire sale to an organization that had its own serious problems that had yet to be revealed – that struggled mightily to hang on to the human assets it had purchased.
Part of the well known transition for the Credit Suisse shutdown was the way that UBS benefited. Take a quick look at an email between a well known NYC manager and his colleagues regarding the feeding frenzy that was the Credit Suisse sale:
“In an email titled “Credit Suisse Deal,” a UBS managing director, John Decker, wrote that Credit Suisse advisers were joking that “UBS stands for ‘Ultimate Beneficiary of our stupidity’ (Meaning Credit Suisse’s Stupidity) — (They are starting to grieve),” according to a copy of the message submitted in New York state court. Decker didn’t respond to a request for comment.”
Well said John Decker, well said – stupidity.