Tidjane Thiam

Born: July 29, 1962, Republic of Côte d'Ivoire;

Occupation: Businessman;

Position: Executive Chairman;

Company: Freedom Acquisition I Corporation;

Industry: Financial Services;

Residence: London, UK;

Nationality: Côte d'Ivoirian;

Tidjane C. Thiam is Executive Chairman of Freedom Acquisition I Corporation, since January 2021. Freedom Acquisition Corp. 1 was established by Tidjane Thiam, Adam Gishen and Abhishek Bhatia to leverage their extensive experience in acquiring, building, operating and scaling global financial services businesses in constantly evolving environments.

Mr. Thiam, with his more than 30 years of experience in financial services businesses, led global institutions like Credit Suisse and Prudential as CEO for 5 years and 6 years, respectively.

He is the former Chief Executive Officer of Credit Suisse Group AG and Credit Suisse AG (2015 - 2020/02). He had been a member of the Executive Board of Credit Suisse Group AG and Credit Suisse AG since 2015.

Mr. Thiam resigned on February 6, 2020, after losing a boardroom battle after it emerged that two former employees had been placed under surveillance.

"I had no knowledge of the observation of two former colleagues. I regret that this happened and it should never have taken place," Mr. Thiam said in a statement.

Under his leadership, Credit Suisse implemented a three-year drive to focus on managing the assets of wealthy clients, scale back investment banking and restructure its global markets business.

Mr. Thiam is credited with taking Credit Suisse from a $3 billion loss in its 2015 financial year and returning it to profitability by 2018.

Work Experience

  • Executive Chairman, Freedom Acquisition I Corporation, Jan 2021 - Present, 1.5 yr.
  • Group Chief Executive Officer, Credit Suisse, 2015 - Feb 2020, 5 yrs.
  • Partner, McKinsey & Company, 2000 - 2002, 2 yrs.
  • Secretary of Development and Planning for Côte d'Ivoire, Government, 1998 - 1999, 1 yr.
  • Chief Executive Officer, National Bureau for Technical Studies & Development for Côte d'Ivoire, 1994 - 1998, 4 yrs.

Board and Advisor Roles

  • Global Board of Advisors, Council on Foreign Relations, Jan 2017 - Present, 5.5 yrs.
  • Member, International Olympic Committee – IOC, Part-time, Jun 2019 - Present, 3 yrs.
  • Chairman of the Audit Commitee, Kering, Jun 2020 - Present, 2 yrs.
  • He was a co-chair of the World Economic Forum 2016 in Davos. 
  • Member of the Group of Thirty (G30). 
  • Member of the 21st Century Fox Board of Directors. 
  • He was non-executive director of Arkema in France until November 2009, when he resigned from the Arkema board. 
  • He was a member of the Council of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in London.
  • Sponsor of Opportunity International.
  • Member of the Africa Progress Panel chaired by Kofi Annan. 
  • From 1994 to 1999, Mr. Thiam returned to Côte d’Ivoire to serve as a Cabinet Secretary, CEO of the National Bureau for Technical Studies and Development, and represented Côte d’Ivoire vis-à-vis the World Bank/IMF.

Accolades

  • In April 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa, Chairperson of the African Union, appointed Mr. Thiam as African Union Special Envoy on Covid 19.
  • He was recognized as a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in 1997 and included in the WEF’s world ‘dream cabinet’ in 1999.
  • He was recognized on the ‘Time 100’ list in 2010.
  • He led one of the largest and most successful emerging market privatizations and infrastructure development programs.

Education

  • MBA, INSEAD,1988.
  • Advanced Mathematics and Physics, Ecole des Mines de Paris,1986.
  • Graduated from École Polytechnique, 1984.
  • Mathematics, Lycée Sainte-Genev,1982.
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