(Updates with responses from representatives of M Klein & Co and Credit Suisse)
By Christopher Spink
LONDON, Feb 14 (IFR) - Michael Klein has been nominated to be a non-executive director of Credit Suisse. Klein was previously chairman and co-chief executive of markets and banking at Citigroup until he stepped down in July 2008, weeks ahead of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, sparking the financial crisis.
Since then Klein has been working as a corporate finance adviser, acting for Dow Chemical on its US$130bn merger with DuPont in 2015 and for Saudi Arabia on its planned US$100bn flotation of Saudi Aramco alongside JP Morgan.
His firm, M Klein & Co, is understood to have around 20 employees. It has in the past advised several major commodities trading firms including Noble and Glencore. Last year Klein also advised Unilever on the unwanted US$143bn takeover approach from Kraft Heinz.
In early 2016 Klein said Mike Eck, former global head of consumer and retail investment banking at Morgan Stanley, was a senior adviser. Former US treasury secretary Larry Summers has also worked on individual projects for the firm.
At the time he said his firm wanted to provide bespoke advice to senior executives.
“For any one client, we’ll provide a range of strategic activities that adds value, from advising on a multi-billion-dollar acquisition, to resolving a dispute with a critical customer to negotiating with a government in order to ensure payment of a multi-billion-dollar arbitration award,” he said.
In 2008, Klein advised Barclays on its acquisition of Lehman’s main US business and acted for the UK government during the crisis. He has also advised Dubai on restructuring its Dubai World investment business.
Shareholders will decide if Klein should join Credit Suisse’s board at the bank’s annual general meeting on April 27. Klein will continue in his role at M Klein & Co if he is elected to the board, according to a person close to the firm.
Credit Suisse has also put forward Brazilian citizen Ana Paula Pessoa, an independent director of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, to join the board at the same time as Klein. Current director and US chairman Richard Thornburgh is not standing for re-election after 12 years.
Credit Suisse declined to comment further on the proposed appointments. (Reporting by Christopher Spink)