A top investment bank has apologized “for a crime” after its black ex-chief executive left his chairman’s birthday party while an actor dressed as a doorman danced on stage.
The New York Times reported that Tidjen Thiam Urs, who ran Credit Suisse between February 2015 and February this year, walked out of the house during Rohner’s 6th birthday celebrations.
Rohner’s Studio 54-based Birthday Bash, held last November, features 1970s costumes and actors. Later, Rohan’s friends also showed a number on stage, they all wore Afro wigs.
Thiem was ousted this year in the wake of a Swiss donor intelligence scandal, and ended his five-year term as the only black executive at the top of a larger global bank. Thiam, 56, was born in Ivory Coast and holds Ivorian and French citizenship.
The bank apologized when contacted by parents, but said the birthday party was not the cause of the crime. “It simply came to our notice then. There was no motive for the crime, and we apologize for the inconvenience. “
A person with knowledge of the ceremony said that neither the party nor Rohna was involved in organizing the party at the Zurich restaurant. They said the doorman was one of nine or ten activities that included international performers from countries including Russia and China.
Rushnara Ali, a Labor MP sitting on the Treasury Select Committee, said she was “shocked and shocked” by the report. “At a time when racial divisions and intolerance are on the rise across the United States and the United Kingdom, it is vital that all our institutions, including the banking sector, play their part in eradicating racism and intolerance in all its forms,” he said.
Credit Suisse says it has taken a number of initiatives to diversify across the bank, including a program to hire, retain and promote black talent in the United States. In the UK, where it employs 5,500 workers, it has signed up to Community Race Business in the Work of Charter, which requires companies to adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards racial harassment or threats. The bank employs 48,500 people worldwide.
A spokesman for the bank said: “Credit Suisse is strongly committed to the equality, diversity and support of all our employees. Over the past year, Credit Suisse has taken additional steps to demonstrate our commitment to the groups represented under the firm and is taking broader initiatives to take it further. As an organization, we are proud to be a geographically and culturally diverse group and we continue to work to further strengthen this culture of support for all our colleagues. “
The guardian contacted Thiam for comment.
A friend of Thiam said the former executive did not seek a personal apology from the bank.