Its remaining asset management division had SFr392bn under management at the end of March, substantially less than its bigger Swiss rival UBS with SFr661bn. However, Credit Suisse's operations in this area are more profitable than those of its main rival and it generated SFr549m of pre-tax profit last year, against SFr467m at UBS.
Mr Herro at Harris Associates told the Financial Times he wanted Mr Thiam to explore all options for boosting capital internally, such as shedding assets in the investment bank, before asking shareholders for more money. "Raising capital isn't an exercise that should be taken lightly," Mr Herro said, adding: "His track record shows proven leadership and I think he will be great."
The bank had a common equity tier one ratio — a measure of balance sheet strength — of 10 per cent at the end of March — lower than many rivals. Its leverage ratio, measuring equity to total assets, was below the regulatory minimum at 3.9 per cent and the Swiss authorities are expected to raise the bar further later this year.
Read MoreBuy Europe, dump US stocks: Goldman