Antonio Horta-Osório, the change of chip of the indefatigable financier

Correspondent in Lisbon



The Portuguese Antonio Horta-Osório is confirmed as the great star among high-level international banking executives through the movement that will make him jump from the top of Lloyds Bank to that of Credit Suisse. That is, from London to Zurich with just a few weeks of transition. His formula for success in the baton takes him to his 56th years, even in the midst of the European economic crisis due to the scourge of the coronavirus pandemic.

His prestige gradually grew in Santander, as he headed its British subsidiary, given that the United Kingdom has been the field of action for this sophisticated profile of Lisbon in recent decades. Of course, previously, he had already been linked on Portuguese soil to the entity then commanded by Emilio Botín.

His subsequent training at Harvard served as the basis for his unstoppable projection, as will be confirmed when he takes the reins of Credit Suisse, according to It is expected to ratify the next general meeting of shareholders of the Swiss firm, which will be held on April 30, 2021.

After almost a decade at Lloyd’s, Horta-Osório said he left with the impression of experiencing “mixed emotions”, who knows if referring to those ‘Mixed emotions’ that The Rolling Stones included as one of the most outstanding songs on their album ” Steel wheels ». “I have been honored to play my part in transforming much of our business. I know that when I leave the group next year, it will already have the strategic, operational and managerial strength to further develop its position as a market leader ”, said the executive.

So look to the near future, Don Antonio (as some around him call him): “I look forward to working closely with the board of directors and the management team to take advantage of the many strengths of the group. This is a time of great opportunity for the group, its people, its customers and its shareholders.

Throughout all these years, he has developed an obsessive work capacity that even amazed those addicted to the “workaholic” trend. In fact, he had to clench his fists in the jungle of the City because the Government of David Cameron gave the go-ahead to his landing when the British state still owned 40% of Lloyd’s. The result produced a spectacular data only three years ago: the privatization of the bank ended with a profit of more than 900 million euros.

Now, however, a change of ‘chip’ arrives in those high peaks in which Horta-Osório moves. Yes, because Credit Suisse focuses on the investment side. If he left London in the middle of the outbreak of covid-19, he will now take positions in a completely different context, when rumors that pointed to a hypothetical merger with the also Swiss company UBS, recently led by Ralf Hamers, still remain in the air.

Horta-Osório, who speaks Spanish, is a great tennis fan and, in fact, one of his great references is Rafael Nadal. But, of course, he arrives in Roger Federer’s homeland and he knows it perfectly, because the racket helps him to decongest. So much so that he loved the brilliant essay by the late David Foster Wallace under the meaningful title “Tennis as a Religious Experience,” a short but highly evocative book about the sport at a level as high as the workplace that constitutes the everyday habitat. of the Portuguese banker.

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