Credit Suisse has announced the promotion of its Asia-Pacific head of cash equities Olivier Thiriet to chief executive officer for Japan, effective from January 1 next year.

Thiriet takes on responsibility for the bank’s Japan franchise across private banking, investment banking and asset management. He retains his cash equities leadership role at the same time.

He will succeed Paul Kuo, the incumbent CEO who is set to leave after 18 years with Credit Suisse. It is understood he will remain with the bank until the end of April to help with the management transition.

Japan is Credit Suisse’s largest office in Asia-Pacific outside of Hong Kong and Singapore with more than 500 employees. The firm declined to provide a country breakdown of its assets or revenues. But Bloomberg reports that the bank had narrowed its loss in Japan to ¥9.9 billion ($128 million) in the fiscal year to end-March from ¥20.7 billion for the previous 12 months.

Thiriet will report to Credit Suisse’s Asia-Pacific CEO Osama Abbasi who, in a press statement, says Thiriet “is ideally positioned to lead our operations in Japan and make them into an even more important contributor to the region’s profitability”.

This move represents a return to Tokyo for Thiriet who built the bank’s alternative execution business in the city from 2001 and became its Asia-Pacific head of alternative execution in 2006.  He moved to Hong Kong in 2009 for his cash equities position.

As CEO, Thiriet will have various business heads in Japan reporting to him, including Akira Takahashi for asset management; Junya Tani (private banking); Martin Keeble (equities); Taisei Takegami (fixed income); and Nobuhiro Nakagawa and Hajime Sato (investment banking).

In an internal memo sent to staff yesterday and seen by AsianInvestor, Abbasi praised Thiriet for his experience both of Japan and of building businesses. He described his role as developing a strategy and operating model to maximise profitability, adding the bank was committed to strengthening its Japan platform.

Abbasi also suggested that with Thiriet retaining his position as Asia-Pacific head of cash equities, it would “optimise management efficiencies” across the bank’s Asia-Pacific platform. In this role Thiriet continues to report to Ali Naqvi, Asia-Pacific head of equities.

Thiriet, who declined to be interviewed by AsianInvestor for this story on the grounds it was too soon to be talking about his new role, joined Credit Suisse in March 2001 from SG Cowen in New York. Prior to that he worked at Société Générale in Paris, London and Tokyo.