"I was a trophy hire at Credit Suisse. This is why I joined"
I arrived at Credit Suisse's credit sales business as a trophy hire in the past few years, and there were good reasons why I chose the franchise.
As recently as mid-2022, Credit Suisse's European credit business had big aspirations. They paid competitively, and they were very certain about what they wanted to do. When I joined last year, I was in talks with another bank but when Credit Suisse decided they wanted me they moved incredibly fast. I had six interviews with them and after the final one - when it became clear that I was the right candidate - they had the offer done and signed within two weeks. It was a very lean and impressive process and it reflected the business I was joining.
The European credit business had some very decent people. Diego Discepoli, the head of global credit products in EMEA, who moved to Deutsche Bank in November, had achieved some amazing things, especially in Italy where the bank had a share of up to 20% in some areas. The quality of people in the team was very high.
I've worked at a number of major banks during my career and the desk at Credit Suisse was the best I've seen. They had focus. They allocated balance sheet, but they did so in a very strategic and very concentrated way. They understood where they wanted to be in the top three, where the margins were and they picked their fights carefully. It was very tightly run. There were some people printing some very big ticket business. They were making money: the PnL was good.
Unfortunately, a lot of those people have now gone, and I am leaving with them. It's a great shame. A lot of us can't really understand the decision. I wish the bank success for the future, but I'm not sure it will really understand what it had until it's gone.
Jordan Portier is a pseudonym
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