Erin Callan: back on the block

Erin Callan: back on the block

Former CFO at Lehman Brothers, Erin Callan, is hired by Credit Suisse to head up the Swiss bank’s hedge fund business globally

credit suisse tower

Credit Suisse has hired Callan to head up its hedge fund business globally

Not all victims of the credit crunch are doing badly. Erin Callan, the former
CFO at Lehman Brothers, has been hired by Credit Suisse to fill a new position
heading up the Swiss bank’s hedge fund business globally.

Callan had a rough ride at Lehman, having been removed as CFO following its
embarrassing $2.8bn (£1.4bn) second quarter loss.

WHAT HAPPENED?
Despite the problems at Lehman, Callan’s new boss Paul Calello says she ‘has a
proven track record. She is extremely professional, exceptionally intelligent
and we are very fortunate to have the opportunity to have her join us’.

The daughter of a policeman, Callan was a lawyer before she turned to
banking, and was the first woman on Lehman’s executive committee.

She was appointed as CFO in September 2007 but lost her job in June of this
year.

She was, like other senior executives on Wall Street, a prominent loser from
the credit crunch, overseeing a huge loss on complex sub-prime related
derivatives.

Last week, however, Credit Suisse announced it would be taking her on in its
hedge fund business. The job is a new post focusing on prime brokerage and
strategic advisory services.

Callan will advise hedge fund clients on fundraising, listings, strategic
stake sales and other transactions. She hailed it as a ‘return to my roots’ in
hedge funds.

WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN?
Callan will be focused on her new role at Credit Suisse, which has had its own
problems with the credit crunch, having made chunky writedowns too.

But one other thing on her mind may still be the hangover of issues from
Lehman Brothers. The bank is being sued by shareholders over its financial
statements and Callan was named in the lawsuit.

‘Despite [the] tumultuous financial climate, Lehman Brothers made repeated
false and misleading statements touting the company’s sophisticated and
conservative risk management policies and assuring investors that it was highly
unlikely that the company would suffer significantly as a result of the mortgage
and credit market meltdown,’ the lawsuit says.

Shareholders are saying they lost tens of billions of dollars as a result of
the statements.

Whether or not the lawsuit comes to anything is unclear. But Callan appears
to have landed on her feet despite the credit crunch; something her new bank,
Credit Suisse, as well as many others reeling from the crunch, will be hoping to
emulate.

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