Antonio Horta-Osorio: who is Credit Suisse CEO, why has he resigned and who is his replacement Axel Lehmann?

Former Lloyds Banking Group chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio has resigned as chairman from Credit Suisse after breaking Covid rules by attending Wimbledon 2021

Former Lloyds Banking Group chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio has resigned as chairman from Credit Suisse after breaking Covid rules by attending Wimbledon 2021. (Pic: Getty)

Antonio Horta-Osorio has resigned as chairman of Credit Suisse.

The boss of the global investment bank and financial services firm had only been in post for nine months but has left with immediate effect.

Sign up to our Money Savers newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

It follows an internal investigation which found that Mr Horta-Osorio had broken Covid quarantine rules, including attending the Wimbledon 2021 tennis finals.

Who is Antonio Horta-Osorio?

Antonio Horta-Osorio has a long history in the financial sector and got his first big break when he joined Goldman Sachs in 1991.

He worked in their corporate finance division in New York and London for two years before he was invited to join the Santander Group, becoming CEO.

He has held prominent positions at the Association of Alumni of INSEAD, INSEAD Portuguese Council and Bank of England over his long standing career.

Mr Horta-Osorio was a key figure in the integration of British building societies Bradford & Bingley and Alliance and Leicester to Santander UK, where he became CEO.

He spent 10 years as the head of Lloyds Banking Group from March 2011 before he took over the reins at Credit Suisse from April 2021, succeeding urs Rohner as chairman.

Mr Horta-Osorio became the bank’s first non-Swiss chairman.

Born in Lisbon, Portugal, Mr Horta-Osorio currently lives in London with his wife and three children. He is a keen scuba diver and enjoys playing tennis and chess in his spare time.

Why did Antonio Horta-Osorio resign from Credit Suisse?

Following an internal investigation, Antonio Horta-Osorio was found to have attended Wimbledon in July 2021 – breaking UK quarantine rules.

He also breached Swiss Covid rules when he flew into the country on 28 November and left on 1 December when it was required for him to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival.

In a statement, Mr Horta-Osorio said: “I regret that a number of my personal actions have led to difficulties for the bank and compromised my ability to represent the bank internally and externally.

“I therefore believe that my resignation is in the interest of the bank and its stakeholders at this crucial time. I wish my colleagues at Credit Suisse every success for the future.”

He added: “I have worked hard to return Credit Suisse to a successful course, and I am proud of what we have achieved together in my short time at the bank.

“Credit Suisse’s strategic realignment will provide for a clear focus on strengthening, simplifying and investing for growth. I am convinced that Credit Suisse is well positioned today and on the right track for the future.”

Who is Axel Lehmann?

Axel Lehmann has been confirmed as the new chairman of Credit Suisse.

He was appointed to the board of directors in October 2021 and will be put forward for election as chairman’s AGM on 29 April 2022.

Mr Lehmann said: “We have set the right course with the new strategy and will continue to embed a stronger risk culture across the firm.

“By executing our strategic plan in a timely and disciplined manner, without distraction, I am convinced that Credit Suisse will demonstrate the renewed strength and business focus needed to generate sustainable value for all of our stakeholders.”

He was formerly a member of the Group Executive Board of UBS Group, initially as group chief operating officer and then as president personal and corporate banking, and UBS Switzerland president.

Between 2009 and 2015, Mr. Lehmann served as a non-executive director and a member of the Risk Committee of UBS Group and was a member of the Governance and Nominating Committee from 2011 to 2013.

A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going. You can also sign up to our email newsletters and get a curated selection of our best reads to your inbox every day.