Credit Suisse boss Tidjane Thiam staunchly defended his record as CEO of Switzerland's second-largest bank Thursday, despite calls from an activist investor for the lender to break up.
In recent weeks, a relatively small but top-performing activist hedge fund announced an ambitious plan to break up Credit Suisse. RBR Capital Advisors, led by outspoken trader Rudolf Bohli, said it hoped the bank's management would break the lender into three parts.
When it was put to Thiam that the level of returns investors could expect from the bank at present were below the industry standard, he replied, "Why am I here? Why was there a change? Why are we engaging in this big restructuring program? It's because things were not optimal."
Tapping into investor impatience with the bank's three-year turnaround project, RBR Capital Advisors called on Credit Suisse to split into an investment bank, a wealth manager and an asset manager in order to support share prices.