(Bloomberg) — The damage control work at Credit Suisse Group AG from a pair of disasters that stunned the banking world will soon give way to the question of how the 165-year-old institution will rehabilitate it’s business and reputation.
A new chairman, Lloyds Banking Group Plc chief Antonio Horta-Osorio, arrives in three weeks to search for answers after the fiascoes involving Archegos Capital Management, a New York-based family office, and supply-chain lender Greensill Capital, which have already wiped out more than a year of profits.
Horta-Osorio has a few possible courses, including a housecleaning that shrinks the Credit Suisse balance sheet and reduces capital allocated to the investment bank; selling parts of the business to deepen its focus on wealth management and rebuild capital; acquiescing to an acquirer; or merging with its larger neighbor in Zurich, UBS Group AG.
With a 4.4 billion franc ($4.7 billion) writedown tied to its losses from Archegos, the fallout from the collapse of Greensill Capital, and a dividend cut and suspension in share buybacks, frustrations among stakeholders are boiling over. Speculation is rife over the investment bank’s future, the asset-management unit, and the fate of top executives. Here’s how things could go, according to interviews with a dozen bankers, analysts, consultants, and executives who asked not to be named discussing hypothetical scenarios and nonpublic matters:
Following consultations with executives and staff, the new chairman’s first move could involve the 440 billion-franc asset-management unit. The business is too small to compete globally, and its leaders are distracted by the Greensill fallout. While a variety of outcomes is possible, including a partial sale or listing, selling the entire unit could fetch as much as 5 billion francs — a figure based on previous deals in the industry.