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Tidjane Thiam

Executive Chairman of Freedom Acquisition Corporation 1

Chair of Audit Committee at The Kering Group

New York, NY, USA

Chair of Audit Committee at The Kering Group
Tidjane Thiam
Paul Thandi
NEC Group
Hugh Tidbury
Greenhill & Co International LLP

Tidjane’s Biography

Tidjane Thiam is a prominent Ivorian and French businessman and is the Executive Chairman of Freedom Acquisition Corporation 1 – a Special Purpose Acquisition Corporation. He divides his time between New York, Paris and Zürich.

With more than three decades of experience in the global financial services industry, Tidjane established Freedom Acquisition to capitalise on his vast knowledge of operating and scaling international financial services firms in ever-changing conditions.

He has held various leadership positions at major financial services companies. He was the CEO of Credit Suisse for six years, successfully restructuring the firm’s trading and investment banking business and bringing in record-breaking profits. He also grew the bank’s wealth management activities. While at the company, Tidjane was honoured with a Euromoney Award for Banker of the Year in 2018.

Before Credit Suisse, he was the Group CFO and later Group CEO of Prudential, directing the transformation of the firm’s Asia business into a leading franchise across the region, doubling operating profit, increasing...
Tidjane Thiam is a prominent Ivorian and French businessman and is the Executive Chairman of Freedom Acquisition Corporation 1 – a Special Purpose Acquisition Corporation. He divides his time between New York, Paris and Zürich.

With more than three decades of experience in the global financial services industry, Tidjane established Freedom Acquisition to capitalise on his vast knowledge of operating and scaling international financial services firms in ever-changing conditions.

He has held various leadership positions at major financial services companies. He was the CEO of Credit Suisse for six years, successfully restructuring the firm’s trading and investment banking business and bringing in record-breaking profits. He also grew the bank’s wealth management activities. While at the company, Tidjane was honoured with a Euromoney Award for Banker of the Year in 2018.

Before Credit Suisse, he was the Group CFO and later Group CEO of Prudential, directing the transformation of the firm’s Asia business into a leading franchise across the region, doubling operating profit, increasing dividends ten-fold, and nearly doubling new business premiums.

Earlier in his career, Tidjane held leadership roles at British insurance company Aviva, including CEO of Europe and Group Executive Director. Before launching his career in banking, Tidjane held public office in Côte d'Ivoire as Secretary of Development and Planning, and led the National Bureau for Technical Studies and Development as CEO.

Tidjane sits on the Boards of Kering and Rwanda Finance, and is a Member of various global organisations, including the World Economic Forum, the International Olympic Committee and the Council for Inclusive Capitalism, where he advises the Pope in a similar capacity. He was also named a Special Envoy by the African Union.

Amongst several career honours, Tidjane is a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour and was named by INSEAD as one of 50 Alumni Who Changed The World.
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Tidjane’s Newsfeed

The Telegraph
Tidjane Thiam plots his comeback with $1.5bn deal

The Telegraph delves into the reinvention of Tidjane, Executive Chairman of Freedom Acquisiton Corporation 1, and his return to the world of global finance.

Financial Times
Ex-Credit Suisse chief Tidjane Thiam to launch blank cheque vehicle

Tidjane is set to launch a $250-million special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) to invest in financial services firms in both developed and developing countries.

View News Archive

Tidjane’s Background

Freedom Acquisition Corporation 1
Executive Chairman
Jan 2021 - Present
London, UK
Freedom Acquisition Corporation 1 is a Special Purpose Acquisition Corporation launched by Tidjane, Abhishek Bhatia and Adam Gishen. It aims to use their extensive experience in acquiring, developing, managing and scaling international financial services firms to add value to companies through direct involvement with leadership teams and empowering businesses to scale to improve profitability.
Credit Suisse
Group Chief Executive Officer
2015 - Feb 2020
Zürich, CH
Founded in 1856, Credit Suisse Group AG is a Swiss-based international investment bank and financial services business. The company provides comprehensive solutions, advisory services, and innovative products to entrepreneurs, businesses and institutions worldwide.
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Tidjane’s Gallery

Current Board Positions

Kering
Chairman of the Audit Committee
Jun 2020 - Present
Paris, FR
Kering is a global luxury goods corporation based in France that was founded in 1963. Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Alexander McQueen, and Yves Saint Laurent are among its fashion brands.
Rwanda Finance logo Rwanda Finance logo
Rwanda Finance
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Nov 2020 - Present
Kigali, RW
Rwanda Finance Limited encourages and develops Rwanda as a top financial location in Africa for overseas investment and cross-border operations. It works with major backers to build and promote Kigali International Financial Centre. Tidjane was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors, and is responsible for promoting Rwanda as a global financial center.

Previous Board Positions

National Bureau for Technical Studies and Development (BNETD)
Various roles
Apr 1994 - 1999
Arrah, CI
During his time at BNETD, Tidjane was Chairman of the Board and a Member of the Privatisation Committee, where he was responsible for privatising extensive state-owned assets.
21st Century Fox
Member of the Board of Directors
Nov 2014 - Aug 2019
New York, NY, USA
21st Century Fox was a large global American media company located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Founded in 2013, the corporation mainly operated in the television and film industry.
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Current Advisory Roles

Council on Foreign Relations
Member of Global Board of Advisors
Jan 2017 - Present
New York, NY, USA
Founded in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations, also known as CFR, is a membership association, think tank, and publishing house that is independent and nonpartisan.

Previous Advisory Roles

World Bank Institute logo World Bank Institute logo
World Bank Institute
Member of External Advisory Council
1999 - 2002
Washington, DC, USA
The World Bank Institute is one of the World Bank Group's primary mechanisms for improving individual, organisational, and institutional capacity among developing countries through information sharing.
UK Prime Minister's Business Advisory Group
Member
London, UK
The Prime Minister's Business Advisory Group is a select group of corporate executives from industries of strategic importance to the UK who provide the Prime Minister with frequent advice.

Media

Billionaire families stand behind Tidjane Thiam's Spac
Featured
2021
More on Tidjane Thiam's recently launched Special Purpose Acquisition Corporation, Freedom Acquisition Corporation, and the network of wealthy individuals supporting it.
Chairman Tidjane Thiam first visit to Kigali International Financial Centre
Featured
2021
In this video, Tidjane meets and speaks to the individuals at Kigali International Financial Centre.

Interviews

Tidjane Thiam: "I have always done everything to help Côte d'Ivoire and I will continue"
Interviewee
Dec 2021
In this French interview, Tidjane and Jeune Afrique discusses the pandemic, the difficulties of vaccine production in Africa, and the expectations raised by IMF assistance.
Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam on Leaving Bank
Interviewee
Feb 2020
In this Bloomberg interview, former Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane explores the company's earnings, its outlook under new CEO Thomas Gottstein, and his long-term plans.

Features

Tidjane Thiam plots his comeback with $1.5bn deal
Quoted
Jan 2022
This article by The Telegraph delves into the reinvention of Tidjane following his return to the world of global finance.
Tidjane Thiam: the man who traded politics for finance after military coup
Quoted
Feb 2020
The Guardian takes an in-depth look at Tidjane Thiam's tenure at Prudential, how he traded politics for financial services, his career journey, and more.
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Memberships

International Olympic Committee logo International Olympic Committee logo
International Olympic Committee
Member of the Finance Commission of the IOC
Jun 2019 - Present
Lausanne, CH
Established in 1894, the International Olympic Committee is the Olympic Movement's ultimate authority. The Committee helps to ensure the Olympic Games are held on a regular basis, endorses all partnered member organisations of the Olympic Movement, and actively encourages the advancement of Olympic principles.
Council for Inclusive Capitalism
Member
2019 - Present
New York, NY, USA
The Council for Inclusive Capitalism is a global initiative of leading business and government figures working to create a more inclusive, durable and dependable economic system. The organisation is a channel for action, a learning community, and a movement for transformation.
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Awards & Endorsements

Euromoney Banker of the Year 2018
Award Recipient
Jul 2018
London, UK
Tidjane was named "Banker of the Year 2018" by finance and business magazine Euromoney in July 2018, mentioning his "radical three-year plan" that had "reinvented" Credit Suisse.
National Order of the Legion of Honour logo National Order of the Legion of Honour logo
National Order of the Legion of Honour
Chevalier
Jul 2011
Paris, FR
Tidjane is a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour. Established in 1802, The National Order of the Legion of Honour is France's greatest military and civil order of merit.
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Public Service

African Union
Special Envoy on Covid-19
Apr 2020 - Present
Addis Ababa, ET
Founded in 2002, The African Union is a continental alliance comprised of 55 member states situated on the African continent. In 2020, the African Union nominated Tidjane as Special Envoy to seek international assistance in dealing with the financial consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
Africa Progress Panel
Member
2005 - 2018
Zürich, CH
The Africa Progress Panel was a Swiss-based organisation formed in 2007 aimed at influencing policy by integrating diplomacy, cutting-edge analysis and advocacy.
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Speaking Engagements

Guest Speaker: Tidjane Thiam at the MBA'21J Graduation Ceremony
Guest Speaker
Jul 2021
Tidjane is a guest speaker at the INSEAD 2021 Graduation Ceremony. He talks about his career journey and his own graduation, and shares personal stories.

Tidjane’s Education

Lycée Sainte-Geneviève
Mathematics
1980 - 1982
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