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Laid off Credit Suisse MD said life outside banking is revelatory

As Credit Suisse people contemplate what are apparently brutal noises from UBS about their future, some might find solace in the undertakings of role models who left the Swiss bank unceremoniously in the past. 

Those role models include Ryan Nelson, the former co-head of prime services at Credit Suisse, who joined the bank from UBS in 2018. Nelson left again in April 2021 after the $5.5bn Archegos loss happened on his watch. Nelson hasn't been seen much since. As we noted in March, while his former co-head John Dabbs has a new role at quant fund DE Shaw, Nelson - who is in his early 40s -  has been lying low. 

A heart-felt LinkedIn post from Nelson explains why, and also offers some consolation to other Credit Suisse bankers pondering their futures. 

In the since-deleted post, seen by eFinancialCareers, and posted in the year after he left, Nelson said he wouldn't have wished the previous year on his worst enemy, but that he would "continue to be a believer that everything happens for a reason."

Nelson said banking had become not just what he did but who he was and that outside of the industry, his life had changed completely. "I travelled, worked very long hours (rarely home in time to see my kids for more than a few minutes at night and never in the morning)," wrote Nelson of his time in banking. "Frankly, I was absent. Even when I was there I was dealing with work issues and constantly checking my phone."

In this context, Nelson said leaving Credit Suisse was both a revelation and a liberation. Having previously had little understanding of all the work his wife was doing with the children, Nelson said the "roles had shifted" and that the change of roles was eye-opening. "It is far more exhausting than anything I have dealt with at work. Homework, mealtimes, after school clubs, sports practices, ballet, birthday parties, play dates, morning time, bedtime, bathing, clothing, homeschooling, waking up at night, sickness etc. It is really hard!"

Ryan said his new life had made him far more aware and appreciative of all the work his wife had been doing with his family and of the "seemingly unlimited patience" she'd had for his children and for himself while he was in banking. "I could not be more thankful to my wife for all that she put on hold," he said, noting that she'd given up her career for the children while he put his career "first and second."

It's not clear why Ryan deleted the post, which was liked by many of his former colleagues. He didn't respond to an invitation to comment for this article. 

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Photo by Alex Bodini on Unsplash

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • ph
    28 April 2023

    He likely worked hard, but got paid super well for his efforts. But in most IB's, only a small percentage of those putting in piles of effort and long hours get paid properly for such.

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