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Credit Suisse CEO pay falls after shareholder mutiny

  • Credit Suisse Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam earned 9.7 million Swiss francs ($10.26 million) last year, a 5.3 reduction over his prior-year compensation.
  • The drop related to a decline in Thiam's long-term incentive bonus, which foresees a future share payout linked to hitting targets over the next three years.
Tidjane Thiam, chief executive officer of Credit Suisse Group AG.
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Tidjane Thiam, chief executive officer of Credit Suisse Group AG.

Credit Suisse Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam earned slightly less in 2017 during his third year on the job, as shareholder scrutiny during the final stages of a major overhaul dampened executive pay.

Thiam earned 9.7 million Swiss francs ($10.26 million) last year, a 5.3 reduction over his prior-year compensation, Switzerland's second-biggest bank said on Friday.

"The compensation committee considers that Mr. Thiam's proposed total compensation for 2017 of 9.7 million francs reflects his strong performance against the suite of measures, while also recognising that the group is still in a transition phase," the committee's chair, Kai Nargolwala, said in a note included in the bank's annual report.

The drop related to a decline in Thiam's long-term incentive bonus, which foresees a future share payout linked to hitting targets over the next three years.

The bank last year agreed to cut executive bonuses by 40 percent, including 2016 cash bonuses and 2017 share incentives, following shareholder dissent.

Credit Suisse had come under fire for proposing top management bonuses of 78 million francs and a rise in its board compensation despite a second consecutive multi-billion-franc loss.

Nargolwala, who became chairman of the compensation committee in April, said the bank decided to simplify its compensation policy after talks with investors.

The new bonus system should provide greater transparency, he said, as well as focusing more on profitability and shareholder returns.

The bank posted a 983 million franc loss for 2017 following a U.S. tax asset writedown. On a pre-tax basis, it was the bank's first year in the black since Thiam launched the turnaround plan in 2015.