Feb 8, 2023
Credit Suisse Plans $380 Million Turnaround Bonus for Top Staff
(Bloomberg) -- Credit Suisse Group AG plans to grant its top executives 350 million Swiss francs ($380 million) of awards, which will pay out if its restructuring succeeds, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The Swiss lender’s 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 aims to incentivize top staff with a long-term award to lessen the pain of annual bonus cuts. A year ago, it granted top staff 497 million francs in one-time share awards tied to strategic goals over a three-year period.
The firm is already cutting its overall bonus pool for 2022 by as much as 50% after a year in which it was forced to raise capital, Bloomberg News has reported. At the same time the bank’s leadership is offering some senior staff upfront cash payments to incentivize them to stay and implement the sweeping overhaul announced in October.
The shake-up at Credit Suisse is meant to refocus the lender on wealth management and bread-and-butter Swiss banking. The complex restructuring began by raising 4 billion francs ($4.1 billion) in a capital increase backed by Saudi National Bank and will involve slashing the workforce by 17% and breaking up the investment banking unit.
The so-called transformational award would need to be approved by shareholders at the bank’s annual meeting in April, according to the Financial Times, which first reported the proposal Wednesday. Credit Suisse has contacted shareholders ahead of the meeting to ask if they will support the award.
In October, the bank laid out 2025 targets of a 6% return on tangible equity and reducing the firm’s cost base to about 14.5 billion francs. The new award would be tied to achieving or coming close to those goals, the FT reported.
(Adds details throughout.)
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.