Feb 9, 2023
Credit Suisse Bonus Pool Drops 50% After Worst Year Since Crisis
(Bloomberg) -- Credit Suisse Group AG cut the bonus pool for 2022 by about half and said the management board took nothing after the Swiss lender’s worst year since the financial crisis.
While senior employees such as managing directors and directors bore the brunt of the declines, they also received a cash award which can be clawed back if they leave the firm within three years, as well as a regular deferred share-based award.
After a flood of departures, the bank is seeking to steer a path between motivating and holding on to senior rainmakers and executives, while not angering shareholders or regulators after running up huge losses.
“The strategy is very simple. It needs to be in line with the results,” Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Koerner said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “The new culture when it comes to compensation in principle going forward will be, you make a profit, we pay a bonus. If you don’t, we pay very little or nothing.”
Bloomberg reported last month that Credit Suisse was considering the cuts to the pool. A 50% decline implies a 2022 bonus pool of about 1 billion Swiss francs ($1.1 billion), which compares with 2.9 billion francs two years earlier.
The bank also plans to grant its top executives 350 million Swiss francs ($380 million) of awards, which will pay out if its planned restructuring succeeds, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The board has devised the long-term incentive tied to specific financial targets for the top 1% of staff, or around 500 senior managers, the person said, asking not to be identified discussing internal matters.
It marks the second straight year Credit Suisse is aiming to incentivize top staff with a long-term award to lessen the pain of annual bonus cuts.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.