Credit Suisse quietly made a major hire from Goldman Sachs

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Credit Suisse quietly made a major hire from Goldman Sachs

As Credit Suisse strengthens its procedures and controls in the wake of a year of scandals, it's parachuted in a Goldman Sachs veteran to help.

Nita Patel joined Credit Suisse as chief compliance officer for the UK and EMEA in May 2021 according to her only recently updated LinkedIn profile. Patel previously spent 17 years at Goldman Sachs, where she was latterly head of asset management compliance for EMEA and APAC, and was made managing director in 2012.

While Patel appears to be managing all compliance at Credit Suisse, her asset management experience is likely to come in helpful. Credit Suisse's asset management unit is among those needing a compliance upgrade following its embroilment in losses associated with Greensill Capital, the bankrupt supply chain financing fund. Under Lara Warner, the former chief risk and compliance officer at Credit Suisse, who was let go in April (maybe around the time that Patel arrived), the Financial Times says Credit Suisse's compliance team was pushed to become "more commercial" and "aligned" to the front office. The FT subsequently reported that Thomas Grotzer, Credit Suisse's interim global head of compliance had also been warned about Sanjeev Gupta, the industrialist who helped precipitate Greensill's collapse, and that although Grotzer subsequently ordered a due diligence review of Gupta's business, the bank continued to invest in Greensill invoices linked to him.

Patel is understood to be replacing James Coulson as head of compliance in the UK. Coulson left earlier in the year, before the Archegos and Greensill incidents. Patel's appointment is understood to be unrelated to Warner's departure, and Grotzer remains the overall compliance head.

Compliance failures also seem to have contributed to Credit Suisse's $5.4bn losses relating to the Archegos family office, with compliance staff seemingly overruled in pursuit of $17.5m of Archegos-related fees.  

Patel, who is based in London, appears to have joined Credit Suisse with minimal fanfare. She will presumably be shaking up the Swiss bank's compliance team and procedures in light of the recent failings. She can also be expected to push for compliance to have a much stronger voice in decision-making at the bank. 

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