ZURICH (Reuters) -Credit Suisse Vice Chair Severin Schwan will face opposition from some major shareholders if he stands for re-election to the board of the embattled Swiss bank in April, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.
The FT said the investors were concerned about Schwan leading pharmaceuticals and diagnostics group Roche, where he is chief executive, while at the same time acting as the vice-chair of Switzerland’s second largest bank.
Some investors, who were among the 10 biggest shareholders in Credit Suisse, said they will try to block any move to extend the tenure Schwan, who has been vice chair at the bank since April 2017, the FT said, without naming them.
Both Credit Suisse, which is due to report its results on Thursday, and Roche declined to comment on the report.
Over the course of Schwan’s time at Credit Suisse its share price has slumped by 64% after the bank became embroiled in a string of scandals and losses.
Schwan, who joined the board of Credit Suisse in 2014, is also the lead independent director and had intended to leave before the bank’s annual meeting in April, the newspaper said, citing three people familiar with the matter.
But he has been asked to stay by other board members to maintain stability under new chair, Axel Lehmann, who took charge last month after the abrupt exit of Antonio Horta-Osorio over breaches of coronavirus quarantine rules.
“If he’s up for election there will be a fight,” one top 10 shareholder was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
“His role as Roche CEO does not benefit Credit Suisse . . . he should (leave Credit Suisse) and go on to another board,” another top 10 shareholder was quoted by the FT as saying.
Schwan told Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger in January that he was undecided whether to stand for re-election at Credit Suisse’s annual shareholder meeting on April 29.
“The task now is to stabilise the bank, and I am happy to support the new chairman in this,” he added.
(Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Michael Shields and Alexander Smith)