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CEO quits Credit Suisse’s Bank Leu

SWITZERLAND – The chief executive of Credit Suisse’s Bank Leu subsidiary, Reto Donatsch, has stepped down and will be replaced by CS veteran Hans Nuetzi.

The move follows a 6% decline in the Swiss private banking unit’s operating profit in 2002.

Bank Leu said in a statement that Donatsch, 53, “has decided to withdraw from operational activities” from March 31. He would remain vice chairman of the board.

He will be replaced on April 1 by Hans Nuetzi, the head of Market Group I of Credit Suisse Private Banking. He joined Credit Suisse in 1972.

“He is the right man to continue to successfully position Bank Leu, an institution with a strong tradition, in the market,” said chairman Alex Widmer.

Donatsch’s departure follows a year in which Swiss equities lost a third of their value and Bank Leu posted a 6% decline in operating profits. Donatsch had tried to stem the tide, and costs were down 14% at the end of 2002.

As recently as March 13, he was optimistic about the future: “The various strategic initiatives and efficiency-boosting programmes we launched in 2002 have equipped us well for the tougher times ahead.”

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