António Horta-Osório: Former chief supervisor at Credit Suisse has a new consultant job
Zurich The last thing the public heard from António Horta-Osório was his inglorious departure from Credit Suisse. Now the former chairman of the board of directors of the major Swiss bank has a new job: Horta-Osório is hired as a consultant at the Italian financial group Mediobanca.
As a senior advisor, he will help the co-heads of the corporate and investment banking business to expand client relationships and transactions in the European market, as Mediobanca announced.
Horta-Osório resigned earlier this year after less than a year in office as chief supervisor at Credit Suisse after it became known that he had repeatedly violated corona entry rules. The Portuguese bank manager was supposed to get the struggling bank back on track after a crisis-ridden 2021; instead, he brought her even more negative headlines.
Horta-Osório came to the Paradeplatz in Zurich with a lot of advance praise. The Portuguese took up the post of chief supervisor at Credit Suisse in May 2021 after the bank lost billions in just a few weeks with the resolution of Greensill supply chain funds and the collapse of hedge fund Archegos.
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He earned his reputation as one of the best bankers in Europe by rescuing Lloyds Bank. In 2011 he became CEO of the British bank that got into trouble during the financial crisis.
Horta-Osório seemed to be the right man at the right time for Credit Suisse: the fact that he was on sick leave for a period in 2011 due to burnout seemed to make him approachable. His success in the recovery of Llyods Bank established him as an expert on difficult cases. His bonus waiver in 2011 portrayed him as a banker of good morals who had been knighted by the Queen for his services to Britain’s banking industry.
High expectations not met
But Horta-Osório could not meet the high expectations in Switzerland. He also helped tarnish his reputation as a morale banker. The disaster took its course in November 2021: At that time it became known that Horta-Osório had violated Covid 19 quarantine rules when returning from Great Britain to Switzerland.
The first cases of the omicron variant of the infectious disease were circulating in London, and Horta-Osório would have had to be quarantined for ten days in Switzerland. But after just a few days he traveled on to the Iberian Peninsula.
When this became known, Horta-Osório initially apologized: It was a mistake. However, the tabloid Blick then revealed that the bank, through an external consultant, had tried to obtain a special exemption from the government’s quarantine regulations in Bern. Horta-Osório did not receive this exception. He left anyway, so apparently he did not violate the corona regulations by accident, but knowingly.
Other spicy details became public: that the banker broke the quarantine rules in Great Britain for a flying visit to the Wimbledon final. That he used the company’s private jet and sometimes combined business and private trips.
By resigning in mid-January, he was able to stop further company internals from being pierced. “I regret that some of my personal actions have caused difficulties for the bank and have affected my ability to represent them internally and externally,” he said at the time. Due to his personal misconduct and resignation, the fact that Horta-Osório was responsible for the new strategy with which Credit Suisse wants to get out of the crisis has been pushed into the background.
His strategic work should now help him in his new job: because, like at Credit Suisse, the dovetailing of asset management and investment banking is also the focus of his advisory function for Mediobanca.
And the new job has another advantage: As an external consultant, the focus is less on his travel activities than in the role of the head of the board of directors.
More: Credit Suisse exchanges the President – Lehmann replaces Horta-Osório.