Credit Suisse prioritises risk management with new board appointments following Archegos fallout

New members of the board of directors will be focused on risk management processes at the bank following its massive losses caused by the collapse of the family office earlier this year.

Credit Suisse’s shareholders have almost unanimously approved the appointment of two new risk-focused members of its board of directors.

Axel Lehmann has been appointed to the board alongside becoming the new chair of the risk committee at the bank, replacing Richard Meddings who has been holding the position on an interim basis.

Alongside Lehmann’s appointment, Juan Colombas has also been appointed to the board and to its compensation committee.

“With their [Lehmann and Colombas’] extensive experience in risk management and their profound knowledge of the financial services industry, they will help shape the bank’s future strategic direction. Together, we will foster a culture that reinforces the key importance of strong risk management and personal responsibility and accountability,” said Antonio Horta-Osorio, chairman of the board of directors.

The senior risk-orientated appointments follow the catastrophic losses of over $5.5 billion by Credit Suisse caused by the collapse of Archegos Capital Management in March.

The $10 billion family office, founded by Bill Hwang, faced margin calls and subsequently defaulted following significant exposures to ViamcomCBS and other Chinese technology stocks that saw a heavy decline in the final weeks of March.

Credit Suisse and Nomura were the most heavily stung, reporting losses of $5.5 billion and $2.9 billion respectively, while other prime brokers Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, UBS, and Deutsche Bank were able to sell their positions much quicker and minimise their losses.

A subsequent scathing report was produced by law firm Paul Weiss, Rifkind and Warton in July that found the Swiss investment bank’s internal risk management procedures had continuously failed.

In the same month, Credit Suisse appointed the former deputy risk chief at Goldman Sachs to head up its risk operations, replacing Lara Warner who was ousted when the event came to a head.