In a vote of confidence for CSFB's Asian business, Paul Calello, chairman and CEO of the bank in Asia-Pacific has been appointed to the Credit Suisse's 14-member executive board. He will be the only regionally-specific member of the executive committee.

His ascension ostensibly follows a global restructuring announced last month. This will see the Credit Suisse group formally split into three operating units: a Swiss-based global corporate, retail and private banking arm via Credit Suisse; an investment banking division via Credit Suisse First Boston and; wealth and asset management under Winterthur.

However, the move will also be viewed as an important signal of faith in Calello, who was seen as a protegee of recently ousted CEO John Mack and often tipped as his successor. However, Calello was also close to new CEO Brady Dougan.

The two both hail from Bankers Trust, joining CSFB in 1990. Calello was also global head of equity derivatives and convertibles at the same time that Dougan was head of equities. And his continuing loyalty will be particularly important in the wake of the resignation two weeks ago of China head Wei Christianson, who had been personally appointed by Mack.

Calello took the Chairman's job in Asia during 2002 and despite numerous cut backs over the following year, remained a genuinely popular figure with his staff because of his approachable and down-to-earth style.

Of his elevation he says, "The move underscores the importance of the Asia-Pacific region not just to CSFB, but to the Credit Suisse Group as a whole."