As Credit Suisse's new chairman António Horta-Osório gets his feet under the table in his new job, he's strengthening his executive team, and is doing so with a big gun extracted from HSBC.
Jessica Kaffren, a former managing director and chief operating officer for HSBC's wholesale business in Europe, is leaving London's Canary Wharf and migrating to Zurich. Kaffren is becoming chief operating officer of Horta-Osório's office according to her LinkedIn profile.
She should already know her way around: Kaffren worked at Credit Suisse for 11 years before she joined HSBC in 2016, nine of which she spent in Zurich. She began her CS career in structured product sales in London, before becoming an associate and VP in M&A, then chief of staff to the group CFO and finally head of the chief of staff team before leaving for HSBC. Kaffren clearly knows her way around the Swiss bank.
As COO to the chairman's office, Kaffren could be in a very powerful position. Horta-Osorio is conducting a review of Credit Suisse's business lines which is expected to result in substantial cuts to the sales and trading business. In an interview published today, Horta-Osorio said the review will take until the end of this year. There have been persistent suggestions - denied by Credit Suisse - that Horta-Osorio is effectively running the bank himself with his own team and that CEO Thomas Gottstein has been sidelined. If there's any truth in these rumours, then Kaffren could emerge as a key person in any future restructuring.
Meanwhile, her exit leaves a hole at HSBC - which is undergoing a restructuring of its own.
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