It's official: Prudential's Tidjane Thiam to replace Brady Dougan as Credit Suisse CEO

ZURICH (Bloomberg, Reuters) - Credit Suisse on Tuesday said it will appoint Pruidential's Tidjane Thiam as chief executive, to replace Brady Dougan, who will step down at the end of June 2015.

Separately, the UK insurance giant said it has "identified a successor and expect to be able to announce a new CEO once the regulatory approval process has been completed."

Prudential's Mike Wells, the head of its U.S. Jackson National Life unit, will succeed Thiam, Sky News reported earlier.

Dougan will step down at the end of June, Credit Suisse said in a statement on its website, as Swiss bank grapples with regulations that have hurt earnings.

The switch puts an Ivory Coast-born French national, who has spent the past decade running insurance businesses, atop Switzerland's second-biggest lender. Dougan, an American who has led Credit Suisse since 2007, has contended with pressure to shift strategy as the company's stock posts one of the worst performances among European banks this year.

Thiam has run Britain's largest insurer by market value since 2009, almost tripling its stock price while successfully betting on Asia to drive up profit. While calls for Dougan to resign died down following Credit Suisse's settlement with U.S. authorities last year on allegations it aided tax evaders, questions remained over the lender's objectives and capital.

Thiam's "extensive international experience, including in wealth and asset management and in the successful development of new markets, provides a firm foundation for leading Credit Suisse," Chairman Urs Rohner said in the statement. "As CEO, he led Prudential to great success in challenging times.

Thiam, 52, joined Prudential from U.K. insurer Aviva Plc, where he led the European unit. In 2012, he turned down an offer to become head of the World Bank's private investment arm, despite a personal request from U.S. President Barack Obama's then-chief of staff, Jacob Lew, the Telegraph reported at the time. Lew is now Treasury secretary.

Thiam worked for management consultant McKinsey & Co. from 1986 to 1994, focusing on insurers and banks. From 1994 to 1998, he was head of the National Bureau for Technical Studies and Development in the Ivory Coast. He was appointed minister of planning and development before leaving the country after the December 1999 military coup.

Dougan, a 25-year veteran of Credit Suisse and the first American to serve as its sole CEO, was one of the few leaders of a global bank to survive the financial crisis and the scandals that followed. On Feb. 26, Standard Chartered named Bill Winters to replace Peter Sands, who led the U.K. firm through the turmoil.

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