Koch to Leave Credit Suisse for Deputy Mayor Job

Credit Suisse’s Koch Leaving to Become Chicago Deputy Mayor
A Credit Suisse Group AG branch in Zurich, Switzerland. Photographer: Gianlucca Colla/Bloomberg

Steve Koch, the co-chairman of mergers and acquisitions at Credit Suisse Group AG, is leaving the firm after almost three decades to become Chicago’s deputy mayor.

The 56-year-old banker will replace Mark Angelson, who held the role since April 2011, and report to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Koch will start Sept. 4, according to a statement today.

The Chicago native is no stranger to public service, having served as chairman of the Sinai Health System of Chicago and the Greater Chicago Food Depository. He has advised on multibillion-dollar deals such as Fortune Brands Inc.’s spinoff of spirits business Beam Inc., and Aon Corp.’s $4.9 billion purchase of Hewitt Associates.

“I will have two jobs: one is to work to make the city the most attractive place in the world to do business,” Koch said in an interview yesterday. “The second is to help the mayor and the existing team work to fix the finances of the city.”

Chicago is forecasting its smallest budget gap since 2009, $369 million in 2013, according to a financial analysis released yesterday. While Emanuel credited “tough but necessary choices” for the improvement, the report also estimated the deficit will widen to $466 million in 2014 and to $580 million in 2015 without additional spending reductions.

“Steve Koch is a natural choice to take over for Mark Angelson and continue the progress this administration is making to make sure Chicago’s economy is diverse, expanding, fostering innovation and creating jobs throughout the city,” Emanuel said in the statement.

Koch’s History

Koch ran the day-to-day operations of Credit Suisse’s M&A group from 1993 to 2001, flying back and forth weekly from Chicago to New York. In 2010, he took two months off work to ride his bike 3,300 miles from California to Florida to raise almost $500,000 for Chicago’s Mount Sinai Hospital with his then 23-year-old son.

Credit Suisse today named David DeNunzio as its global chairman of the M&A group, according to a memo. The Zurich-based bank is seeking to cut 1 billion Swiss francs ($1.02 billion) in costs by the end of 2013, with more than half of that coming from the investment bank. Last year it announced plans to cut 3,500 jobs. Credit Suisse shares slumped to 20-year lows in June.

Koch, who will make $1 a year as deputy mayor, said it was the right time to shift to the public sector.

“It has always been in the back of my mind that I’d make this transition,” he said. “There is always up and down, good and bad on Wall Street. I’ve dabbled in it for 30 years -- it’s just the right time to go.”

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