Swiss Banking World Rocked By Feud Between Pakistan Origin Banker And Credit Suisse CEO
The world of Swiss banking has been rocked by a feud between a Pakistan origin banker and the chief executive officer of Credit Suisse.
According to a report by Swissinfo.ch and Financial Times, Swiss prosecutors are currently investigating an alleged physical confrontation between banker Iqbal Khan and three men hired by Credit Suisse to keep an eye on him following the former’s resignation in July and his decision to move to the latter’s arch-rival, UBS.
Iqbal Khan has alleged that him and his wife were chased by a group of three men in Zurich by car and on foot, with the chase ending in a fight behind the Swiss National Bank.
Credit Suisse has admitted that it did hire the spy firm Investigo. According to foreign media reports, the firm’s detectives had been hired by Credit Suisse to follow Iqbal Khan on weekdays and to identify the people he met.
An Investigo detective has disputed Iqbal Khan’s version of events, claiming that it was not three people involved in the confrontation, but only him, and that it was Khan who had chased him.
The Feud Between The Banker And His Boss
The physical confrontation between the detectives and the banker is reportedly based in a long-standing feud between Credit Suiss’s Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam and Iqbal Khan.
Iqbal Khan was born in Pakistan and moved to Switzerland when he was 12. In 2013, he joined the international wealth management division of Credit Suisse after working for Ernst and Young. During his tenure at the bank, he brought in $46 billion worth of new assets in two years.
Two years after Iqbal Khan joined the bank, Tidjane Thiam started working there. At first, the two bankers had good relations, with Thiam calling Khan a ‘star’.
However, Khan later grew disgruntled with his profile at Credit Suisse. Enmity between the two grew when Khan purchased and redeveloped the house right next to Thiam’s near Lake Zurich.
The construction work lasted for over two years, even over weekends, and Thiam made a complaint regarding the matter to the Credit Suisse chairman.
After Khan moved to his house, Thiam hosted a party in which both the banker and his wife were invited. At the party, Khan and Thiam’s partner argued over some trees planted on Thiam’s property.
Following the argument, the CEO took Khan aside and complained about the conversation he had with his girlfriend. The argument almost escalated into a physical confrontation, with Khan later claiming that his wife had to separate the two.
After the incident, Khan complained to Credit Suisse’s chairman and board about the incident and the relationship between the two became increasingly toxic at the bank.
Around the same time, Khan, already dissatisfied with his position, started looking for work somewhere else, which he found at Credit Suisse’s competitor, UBS.
Following Khan’s resignation, detectives were hired by Credit Suisse to keep an eye on him, a move that led to the physical confrontation between Khan and the detectives recently.
It is not clear yet whether the bank hired Investigo to spy on Khan due to his move to UBS, or whether the hiring of the detectives was part of the CEO’s vendetta against his subordinate.
Meanwhile, Credit Suisse chairman Urs Rohner has ordered a review of the decision to tail Iqbal Khan in order to find out which executive hired the detectives. It is claimed that the job of Tidjane Thiam could be potentially at risk.
Two people aware of the proceedings of the probe told foreign media, “Someone’s job will go, or at least there will be an appropriate sanction,” one of the people said.
In the latest development in the case, Businessinsider reported that the Credit Suisse contractor who hired Investigo to spy on Iqbal Khan had died by suicide.