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Credit Suisse comes clean about bosses' pay

The markets will have to wait until next year to find out exactly how much Lukas Mühlemann earns


Credit Suisse has revealed how much it paid all of its top managers last year - bar one: chairman and chief executive, Lukas Mühlemann.

Switzerland's second largest banking group said on Monday that its 28 top managers took home pay packets worth SFr135.5 million ($85.06 million) in 2001. This includes basic remuneration, bonuses, shares and options.

Missing from the list was Lukas Mühlemann's pay packet. The size of his pay check will only be made public next year under new rules established by the Swiss stock exchange (SWX).

Media reports say Mühlemann earned SFr15 million in 2001. That compares with SFr12.5 million handed out to Marcel Ospel, chairman of Switzerland's largest bank, UBS. Ospel's pay packet was revealed in April.

Frozen shares

Credit Suisse's senior management received 478,621 frozen shares, each with an average market value of SFr70.65. They were also given 1.1 million stock options, each worth SFr65.75, which cannot be exercised for three years.

Another SFr4 million was paid into the managers' pension fund.

The group's board, not counting its chairman Lukas Mühlemann, earned SFr2.6 million overall last year. This sum was paid out to nine members in shares that have been frozen for the next four years.

Switzerland's major corporations are facing increasing pressure to come clean about the salaries of their top management.

Public outrage

Public opinion was outraged earlier this year when the Swiss-Swedish electrical engineering group, ABB, admitted it had paid SFr230 million in pension benefits to two former chief executives, shortly before the company announced enormous losses and severe job cuts.

The scale of their golden parachutes prompted a public outcry, and persuaded the two men - Percy Barnevik and Goran Lindahl - to return some of the money.

New corporate governance rules implemented by the SWX mean that all companies listed at the stock exchange now have to disclose all the salaries of top management.

Dual role

As part of moves towards greater transparency Credit Suisse has also admitted that Mühlemann's joint role as chairman and chief executive could lead to potential conflicts of interest.

The board's vice-president, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, has been authorised to hold regular meetings without the CEO being present.

Mühlemann's dual role has also come in for criticism in recent months, with some shareholders demanding that he abandon one of his positions.

swissinfo with agencies

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