Lehman vet to head Credit Suisse asset management arm

The former chief executive officer of Credit Suisse asset management, David Blumer, will be replaced by Rob Sharif after taking up a new role as head of financial markets at Swiss Re.

Credit Suisse announced the departure of David Blumer as chief executive of its asset management division, who is set to become head of financial markets at global reinsurance company Swiss Re.

Rob Sharif will replace Blumer effective immediately, according to a statement. Sharif, a 17-year Lehman Brothers veteran who joined Credit Suisse in 2007, will continue his role as Credit Suisse’s chief executive of the Americas region.

Brady Dougan, Credit Suisse chief executive, said the current credit crisis had presented the firm with “enormous opportunities” adding that: “Rob is committed to leading the asset management business in pursuit of this goal”.

He praised Blumer’s efforts in “restructuring the asset management business and making it an important part of our integrated bank during a critical period as we built our new business model”.

Credit Suisse’s asset management business includes traditional investments in equities and fixed income as well as alternatives such as real estate, hedge funds and private equity. Last year, Blumer spearheaded Credit Suisse’s push into Asia, recruiting a six-strong team led by Harjit Bhatia from struggling US hedge fund group Ritchie Capital.

Blumer joined Credit Suisse in 1993 becoming chief executive of the asset management division and a member of the executive board in 2006. He in turn will succeed Roger Ferguson at Swiss Re, who according to a statement had accepted a position “at a major financial institution”.

Jacques Aigrain, Swiss Re’s chief executive officer, said in a statement Blumer would help “invigorate” the Swiss bank and “inject new perspectives that will further strengthen our competitive advantage.” Zurich-based Swiss Re is one of the world’s largest reinsurers, with offices in more than 25 countries.