Credit Suisse wanted somebody to guide a clean-up job, and António Horta-Osório had impeccable credentials for struggling banks. In the course of the monetary disaster at Spanish financial institution Santander he had led the takeover of Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley once they had been close to collapse, after which helped pull Lloyds Financial institution out of the mire after its authorities bailout.
He was not recognized to object to this shining-armour status, displaying in his workplace a cartoon displaying a knight on horseback rescuing two banking damsels in misery.
But his newest journey has ended out of the blue, after an inside Credit score Suisse investigation discovered breaches of Covid laws. They included admitted contravention of Swiss isolation guidelines. He additionally watched Novak Djokovic win the Wimbledon males’s remaining when he allegedly ought to have been in quarantine in accordance with UK legal guidelines. Horta-Osório resigned over the weekend as soon as the findings had been made clear to him.
Horta-Osório was born in Lisbon in January 1964, attending Jesuit faculty and buying a love of tennis, earlier than learning administration and enterprise administration on the Portuguese capital’s Universidade Católica Portuguesa.
He began on his banking profession in 1987 at Citibank Portugal, the place he rose to develop into head of capital markets by 1991, whereas additionally finishing an MBA at France’s prestigious Insead in the identical 12 months. From there he joined US funding financial institution Goldman Sachs, earlier than Spain’s Santander took him on as a chief govt of a Portuguese subsidiary in 1993.
In 2006 he made the transfer to the UK to go up Abbey Nationwide, the previous constructing society purchased by Santander two years earlier. Throughout 4 years in cost he steered the financial institution by acquisitions which constructed up a formidable high street presence, and a rebrand, to not point out the monetary disaster.
By June 2009 his status was such that he was appointed as a non-executive director to the Court docket of the Financial institution of England, however he rapidly gave up that position when former chancellor George Osborne picked him to guide Lloyds Banking Group.
Over the course of just about a decade Horta-Osório led Britain’s greatest excessive avenue financial institution previous near-collapse throughout 2011 to leaving state possession in 2017, and went by an enormous spherical of know-how funding in response to the specter of digital startups, but additionally minimize a whole lot of branches and tens of hundreds of jobs. He additionally collected £60m in pay.
He oversaw the unprecedented £22bn in compensation payouts by Lloyds to folks miss-sold fee safety insurance coverage.
Horta-Osório’s affection for the UK grew to become clear when he grew to become a British citizen, a transfer that made him eligible for the knighthood (though he additionally sampled the opposite facet of being a British public determine when a Solar newspaper entrance web page splashed an affair in 2016 with the headline “Lloyds bonk”).
The royal honour was bestowed for providers to “monetary providers, psychological well being and tradition”, reflecting his work as chair of the Wallace Assortment of artwork and antiquities in addition to his ground-breaking openness about mental health struggles in an business recognized for a typically punishingly macho tradition.
At Credit score Suisse he was introduced in to turn the page on a series of governance scandals, overseeing the launch of a brand new technique in November. His abrupt departure means he’s unlikely to go away a lot of a mark on the financial institution.