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Credit Suisse sacks managers over Greensill scandal

Switzerland’s second largest bank is now bracing for several class-action lawsuits from clients, experts say. Keystone/Urs Flüeler

The Credit Suisse bank has fired the managers overseeing a multi-billion-dollar fund strategy linked to the now-defunct Greensill Capital.

Switzerland’s second largest bank was forced to freeze and wind down a $10 billion (CHF9.2 billion) fund range amid huge financial losses.

The Zurich-based bank dismissed former head of asset management in Switzerland, Michel Degen, as well as the head of fixed income Luc Mathys, and portfolio manager Lukas Haas, according to a person familiar.

The decision came after initial findings from an investigation into the collapse of the funds were shared with the bank’s board of directors, the person said, asking for anonymity because the information is private.

Credit SuisseExternal link had placed the three employees on leave in March and halted bonuses for senior managers, after freezing redemptions from the funds because of uncertainty over valuations.

The Swiss lender still hasn’t been able to liquidate all of the assets, leaving fund investors waiting for more than $3 billion (CHF2.8 billion) of their money almost a year on.


“Based on preliminary findings of the investigation which have been shared with regulators, Credit Suisse has taken action with regards to various individuals,” Simone Meier, a spokeswoman for the bank, said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

“These actions include termination of employment and severe monetary penalties via compensation adjustments. External investigations are still ongoing.”

The bank declined to comment on the individuals as well as the timing or contents of the publication of a report into the Greensill matter.

The publication of those findings is complicated because the bank is still attempting to recover investors’ money and any in-depth report could have legal ramifications for the bank, people familiar with the matter said.

External probes are still underway, including an investigation by the Swiss financial regulator, FINMA, and the public prosecutor of canton Zurich.

Former asset manager

On Monday, former asset management head Eric Varvel announced he was leaving the bank after three decades.

He had already given up much of his remit in March when the bank was forced to freeze and wind down the Greensill-linked funds.

The payout and vesting of variable compensation for a number of senior employees involved in Greensill — including on the executive board — was put on hold in March so the bank could look into reclaiming some of that. Varvel could face a clawback of up to $10 million, the Financial Times newspaper reported this month, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

Credit Suisse has already reclaimed about $70 million in pay, including bonus clawbacks, and punished 23 people for their role in the Archegos Capital Management scandal, which cost the bank $5.5 billion.

In August, it published an in-depth report prepared into the Archegos matter that resulted in the ousting of nine executives.

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