Norwegian wealth fund seeks Credit Suisse boardroom shake-up

Norwegian wealth fund seeks Credit Suisse boardroom shake-up
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Chairman of the Board of Directors of Credit Suisse, Axel Lehmann, attends a news conference after UBS’s takeover offer, in Bern, Switzerland, March 19, 2023. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo


(Reuters) – Norges Bank Investment Management will vote against the re-election of Credit Suisse Chair Axel Lehmann and six other directors at the Swiss lender’s annual general meeting on Tuesday, the Norwegian wealth fund said on its website.

Credit Suisse was acquired last month by rival UBS in a $3.23 billion deal engineered by the Swiss government, central bank and market regulator to avoid its collapse and possible contagion across the global financial system.

“Shareholders should have the right to seek changes to the board when it does not act in their best interest,” the Norges wealth fund said ahead of the April 4 meeting.

In addition to Lehmann, Norges is also opposing re-election of Credit Suisse directors Iris Bohnet, Christian Gellerstad, Shan Li, Seraina Macia, Richard Meddings and Ana Pessoa.

Both Credit Suisse and UBS declined to comment.

Credit Suisse had also encountered opposition from proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), which had recommended that shareholders vote against a proposal by the bank for its board and senior management to be released from liability for its 2022 financial results.

ISS had cited a “lack of oversight and poor stewardship” that ultimately led to the problems that necessitated its rescue by UBS.

Credit Suisse on Wednesday withdrew its request for the “discharge of responsibility” for the board and management.

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