The great unanswered question: must Brady Dougan forego his bonus?

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Brady Dougan has reason to be thankful. Contrary to speculation, he has kept his job as chief executive of Credit Suisse. However, it is less clear whether he has also kept his bonus.

According to Credit Suisse’s most recent remuneration report, Dougan has CHF12.4m in deferred compensation for 2013 and CHF19.8m in deferred compensation for 2012. Under Credit Suisse's compensation rules it seems this will be deferred for up to five years and subject to so-called 'malus provisions' under which some, or all may be clawed back.

As we've noted previously, Credit Suisse's clawback conditions are pretty lax compared to some rivals. Whereas Deutsche Bank, for example, claws back the entire portion of bonuses due to vest in a particular year if either the division or bank make a loss, Credit Suisse will only seize bonuses in their entirety if a division makes a CHF6.7bn annual loss. This looks unlikely, even after the CHF2.5bn fine imposed upon Credit Suisse for its U.S. wrongdoing.

This doesn't mean Dougan's deferrals are safe though. Credit Suisse also reserves the right to seize bonuses when there's a, 'a material failure of risk management, reputational harm, or other similar events,' at the discretion of the board. Pleading guilty to a U.S, criminal charge would seem to fall into this category.

The Prius-driving, modest-living Dougan seems almost certain to be out of pocket. Credit Suisse did not return our request to comment.




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