Phil Vasan’s Next Opportunity

Phil Vasan
NEW YORK, NY – MAY 09: Managing Director of Credit Suisse in the Investment Banking division Philip Vasan speaks at Safe Horizon’s 35th anniversary celebration at its annual gala at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers on May 9, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for Safe Horizon)

Now that Wells Fargo has agreed to the purchase of the US private banking division of Credit Suisse, there is a rare opportunity for investment firms to snatch up a talented executive who will soon be leaving Credit Suisse.

As soon as the Credit Suisse transition has been completed, Phil Vasan, the present CEO, will be leaving. Vasan became the CEO back in 2013 in order to bring profitability back to Credit Suisse’s US operations, a task he was successful in completing.

For a decade Phil Vasan worked as the head of prime services at Credit Suisse. Beginning in 2003 until he took over the private banking operation in 2013, Vasan raised the market share of the firm from 2 percent to 14 percent. Vasan’s success brought Credit Suisse into a top-two market position and then an invitation by Brady Dougan to repair the operations of the private bank.

So what is the next step for Mr. Vasan? The expectation is that Vasan will either return to his long time career as an investment banker or instead make the switch to alternative investment management.

If he decides he would like to return to banking, then it is clear that he would be best suited for a leadership role there, especially if there was an opportunity to take the bank in the direction of much needed changes. However, the banks most in need of his special skill set, such as Barclays, Deutsche and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, seem to not yet be ready for the type of transformative leadership Vasan would bring to the table.

Another option which is more likely to entice Vasan is a senior position in the alternative investment industry. The larger firms and more cautious hedge fund managers which have survived the recent crisis in this industry will most likely recognize the value of someone like Vasan to transition their firms around to money-making machines in a more sustainable business model.

In the internal memo Credit Suisse sent out which announced Vasan’s departure this coming spring, he was described as “one of the bank’s most accomplished leaders. It seems that Credit Suisse’s loss will be a lucky fund management firm’s gain.


Rachel Thornbee

When it comes to politics and deal making in the streets of Brooklyn, Rachel is on top of it. With a degree in political science and another in business leadership, Rachel can discuss the inner workings of the system with the best of them. We are excited to have Rachel joining Gowanus Lounge, reporting on the great goals and challenges of Brooklyn's political infrastructure. Contact Rachel at rachelthornbee(at)