CS FIRST BOSTON GETS A TOP-level shakeup as President Allen Wheat cuts costs and tightens his grip at the Swiss-owned investment bank, where profits last year dropped 52%. Wheat, a bottom-line-driven derivatives trader, was promoted in late 1993 and recently assumed effective command.

Ruedi Stalder, the Swiss chief financial officer installed by CS Holding Chief Executive Rainer Gut in 1991, will be replaced in several weeks, say sources close to the firm. Stalder, considered Gut's watchdog in the U.S., will shift to another job at CSFB or elsewhere in the Swiss parent's empire. CSFB had no comment.

Another new Wheat economy: moving nonrevenue-producing service providers off- payroll. So employee-benefits head Stephen Medici has formed his own company with his 10-member CSFB staff. First client: CS First Boston. Robert Raziano, chief of operations and systems, also has a new job: He gives up his managing director title for a two-year consulting contract overseeing CSFB's move to another Manhattan building. Wheat's radical cost-cutting regimen includes a recently announced 15% staff cut.

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