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Crisis Suisse and opportunity


It is often said, incorrectly, that the Chinese word for crisis consists of the characters meaning danger and opportunity. While the translation may be off — the components are more like danger and change point — they may well describe the situation at crisis-riddled Credit Suisse for one big name banker.

GlobalCapital last week wondered whether Christian Meissner, who only just got started as the Swiss shop’s international wealth management co-head, is about to reach new career heights as the Archegos and Greensill scandals unfold.

Meissner is the new boss of Crisis Suisse’s investment bank after Brian Chin departed, along with chief risk and compliance officer, Lara Warner, as a result of the Archegos affair, in which the bank may have lost as much as Sfr4.4bn ($4.7bn).

They may as well install a revolving door to the C-suite at CS. CEO Thomas Gottstein has only been in the job just over a year after a spying scandal helped end Tidjane Thiam’s time in the job. Gottstein, for his part, only installed Chin and Warner in their jobs in the summer and Meissner swiped in — or perhaps in this day and age, logged on from home — for the first time in October.

We wonder if Meissner, who is said to enjoy big bank politics, and whose career has been so astronomical he doesn’t even list the two years he spent as deputy head of Nomura’s global investment on his LinkedIn profile, isn’t poised to enjoy a successful spell at the Swiss shop.

Also on the move is Ben Powell, a familiar face reappearing at SEB. Powell, a former funding official at Kommunalbanken and the IFC, has taken an expanded version of his old job at SEB in Norway.

Powell left SEB to spend 18 months as the treasurer for the International Fund for Agricultural Development, to be based in Rome. Read GlobalCapital’s scoop to see why he swapped the eternal city for eternal daylight (summer months only) and what his new job entails.

In Spain, a number of BNP Paribas bankers have defected to Beka Finance, a boutique. Beka is starting an M&A business, which the ex-BNPP team will be helping to launch.

Meanwhile, HSBC has recalled a senior banker from Hong Kong to London to help implement its latest strategy and NatWest Markets has promoted Roland Plan.

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