Calello named chairman of Credit Suisse investment bank

Eric Varvel, currently CEO of EMEA, will succeed Calello as CEO of the investment bank.
Paul Calello
Paul Calello

Paul Calello has taken yet another step up in the Credit Suisse hierarchy with his appointment yesterday as chairman of the investment bank. He will be replaced as CEO of the investment bank by Eric Varvel, who is currently CEO of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and has been acting CEO of the investment bank since September 2009 when Calello started to undergo medical treatment.

Varvel's taking over of the CEO position on a permanent basis will allow Calello to take a step back from the day-to-day running of the business, but enable him to remain closely involved in the building of Credit Suisse's key external relationships with clients, shareholders and regulators around the world. Calello, well-known in this region from his time as Asia-Pacific CEO, first of the investment bank and then of all the bank's operations in the region, has continued to work throughout his illness and, according to a release, he has established a "great partnership" with Varvel.

Their new roles will enable them to "continue to provide outstanding leadership for the investment bank", Credit Suisse CEO Brady Dougan said in the release. He added that Calello demonstrated extraordinary leadership throughout the financial crisis and took aggressive action at an early stage to reduce risk and successfully implemented the investment bank's client-focused, capital-efficient strategy.

"Under Paul's leadership, the investment bank not only successfully navigated one of the most challenging periods in many decades, it also delivered an outstanding performance in 2009 with significant market share gains, which have put the franchise in a very strong strategic position," Dougan said.

Eric Varvel
Like Calello, Varvel has a background in Asia, and the appointment of yet another CEO for the investment bank who has worked extensively in this region is clear evidence of the focus the Swiss bank is putting on its business here.

Varvel joined Credit Suisse in 1990 and held a number of positions at the firm in Asia-Pacific (Tokyo, Jakarta and Singapore) for the next 15 years, including head of investment banking and emerging markets coverage, and head of fixed-income sales and corporate derivatives sales. Among other things, the key relationships he developed in Indonesia before the Asian financial crisis and which he consolidated by persuading the firm to work with its clients in the aftermath of the crisis rather than (fruitlessly) pursuing them through the Indonesian judicial system, is seen to have laid the foundation for Credit Suisse's current strong investment banking franchise in Indonesia.

In January 2005, Varvel was appointed co-head of the global investment banking department and head of the global markets solutions group, based in New York. He became CEO of EMEA in February 2008. He is also a member of the executive board of Credit Suisse Group and will take over Calello's current role as chairman of the management committee of the investment bank. He will move to New York to take up his new CEO role.

Calello joined Credit Suisse Financial Products in 1990 and was global head of equity derivatives and convertible bonds from 1997 to 2002 and global head of commodities and fixed-income derivatives from 1992 to 2000. In 2002 he left New York for Hong Kong to become chairman and CEO of the investment bank in Asia-Pacific and in 2006 assumed responsibility for all of the bank's operations in the region, including investment banking, private banking and asset management. He was appointed CEO of the investment bank in February 2007.

Fawzi Kyriakos-Saad, currently CEO of Russia, the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Turkey, and co-head of the global emerging markets council, will succeed Varvel as CEO of EMEA.

Credit Suisse also announced yesterday that Antonio Quintella, CEO of Brazil and co-head of the global emerging markets council, will become CEO of the Americas region, succeeding Rob Shafir. Shafir has been CEO of Americas alongside his job as CEO of asset management and will now focus solely on the latter role.

The new appointments take effect on July 1. 

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