Credit Suisse Names Osmar Abib as Its New Chairman of Global Energy

(Bloomberg) -- Credit Suisse Group AG appointed Osmar Abib, formerly the global co-head of oil and gas, to a new role as chairman of global energy as the Swiss bank seeks to broaden its services for energy giants facing a business transition with the rise of renewables and the fight against climate change.

Abib’s new role will span the oil, gas, power and renewable coverage groups, according to an internal memo released this week. Abib will focus on initiatives to expand the Swiss bank’s global energy business, including the convergence of the energy and technology sectors, new end-use markets as well as Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)-focused investments, the memo said.

"We felt that we needed to focus on some new initiatives," Abib said in a telephone interview Thursday. "Given that all these fields are starting to overlap, the view is to have senior bankers make sure we’re steering the team in the right direction."

Credit Suisse’s push into broader energy coverage comes as companies are redefining their traditional oil and gas businesses. Last year, Statoil ASA, Norway’s biggest petroleum company, announced it was changing its name to Equinor ASA as it looked to increase its energy reach. Oil majors from Royal Dutch Plc to Total SA and BP Plc have bought solar developers and electric vehicle chargers to diversify into areas which they deemed to have stronger future growth potential.

Broader Coverage

Abib will continue to be based in Houston and New York, reporting to Jim Amine, the chief executive officer of investment banking at Credit Suisse.

"In addition to my continued focus on important clients, this is a very intentional move by myself and the firm into this area. This is very important and all growth-oriented. It’s where the world is moving and I’m excited about it," Abib said.

Credit Suisse also named Tom Greenberg and Brian McCabe as global co-heads of oil and gas along with current co-head Tim Perry. Jonathon Kaufman and Chris Radtke will continue to co-head the Power & Renewables coverage group.

The bank is not planning to immediately add to its team, though it could if there’s the right opportunity, Abib said. Currently, the firm has around 200 people in the energy group under investment banking and capital markets globally, spanning multiple locations, such as Houston, Calgary and Hong Kong. It also has about 200 people as coverage partners.

The energy business has been tough in recent years, as investors and traders increasingly shy away from the space given wild gyrations and losses. But, Abib said it’s important to continue meeting the needs that clients are looking for.

"The public energy equity markets are not currently particularly great, but there’s plenty of private capital out there. There are plenty of other capital markets solutions that we can do. So, we just need to adjust our business," he said.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.