Power struggle in the CS is coming to a head

The two central heads, which have to lead the lurching big bank Credit Suisse into calm waters, gave themselves a top-class nakedness at the weekend.

In one “Joint” interview in the SonntagsBlick joked President Horta-Osorio and his CEO Thomas Gottstein over several paragraphs about golf and tennis. You are better, I struggle – kindergarten, thinks the customer and taxpayer who is ultimately liable.

Horta: “Wait a minute! I am okay. But Thomas plays golf better than I do tennis. “Gottstein:” I’m not so sure about that. “Horta:” You played a draw at golf last Sunday, I lost my tennis game. That’s proof enough. (laughs) “

Horta continues: “(…) I can’t even play golf. If so, then it would have to be a tennis match. “Gottstein:” Well, my skills with the racket are miserable. “

The NZZ can only shake my head. “In a situation in which the future of the big bank seems uncertain and the employees are insecure, the poison is,” says the leading business paper today.

“Horta-Osório and Gottstein did you no favors on Sunday – and neither did you, especially since the two of them had more to say about family, leisure time and fitness than about specific projects, work and progress at the bank. Silence would have been the better strategy. “

A harsh verdict for an elite newspaper that the CS has kept up the peg over and over again in its eventful history.

The background is a power struggle at the top of the number 2 in the country. Antonio Horta-Osorio, the new captain and successor to the Swiss Urs Rohner, apparently wants to hold on to the operational director Gottstein.

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This is despite the fact that the CS, under Gottstein’s leadership, has squandered a total of 7 to 8 billion Swiss francs – debacles that should now obviously have no consequences for the boss.

Never heard of in the financial center. But Horta seems to be hoping for peace by clinging to Gottstein. He could be wrong.

There is another Heavy Weight to talk about – a colleague from Gottstein on his group management: David Mathers, CFO of CS since the dawn of time.

The Englishman is practically the third man at the top, he was already part of the financial multinational’s closest leadership circle under Gottstein’s predecessor Brady Dougan.

Mathers, master of the CS figures: Nobody knows better than the longstanding Chief Financial Officer (CFO) how the bank should present its financial statements in a favorable light.

Now Mathers should have ambitions for the operative crown. Mathers wants to inherit Gottstein if he falls, according to a source.

Much is right for Mathers. The CFO criticized Gottstein’s weak leadership and at the same time ingratiated himself with President Horta-Osorio.

Whether this is true cannot be precisely determined from the outside. One thing is certain: Mathers is the big shadow man of the major Swiss bank.

That gives him power – and makes him a dreaded top manager, a direct adversary of CEO Gottstein.

Mathers’ possible calculation to outdo Gottstein and climb the throne himself, however, seems daring. “Mathers has no chance in the VR”, so the assessment of the source.

Rather, its time could have run out. Urs Rohner in particular was the protector of him. He valued “Brains” – whether they also had human qualities was irrelevant under the old CS ruler.

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Without Rohner, Mathers would not have a protective hand on the board of directors. Accordingly, Gottstein could keep the upper hand in a duel against Mathers – thanks to the new “Götti” chairman.

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