Tidjane Thiam

Executive Chairman
Freedom Acquisition Corporation

Tidjane Thiam has over 30 years of experience in global financial services, as well as in government and public service. He is the Chairman of the Board of Rwanda Finance.

Mr. Thiam was the CEO of Credit Suisse Group AG from 2015 to 2020, where he recapitalised the bank, raising $10 billion of equity. He turned around the bank’s performance and in the final year of his tenure, delivered the bank’s highest profits in over a decade. For these achievements, he was awarded the Banker of the Year 2018 by Euromoney.

Prior to joining Credit Suisse, Mr. Thiam was the Group CEO of Prudential plc from 2009 to 2015.  He created more than trebled the market capitalisation of Prudential during his tenure from approx. $17 billion in 2009 to over $60 billion in 2015. In 2012, Mr. Thiam was elected as his peers Chairman of the Association of British Insurance Companies (ABI).

In parallel to his private sector career, Mr. Thiam has had extensive experience in the public sector. In the 1990s, he returned to his native Ivory Coast where he occupied cabinet level positions from 1994 to 1999, in charge of infrastructure development, privatisations and relationships with the World Bank and IMF. In that capacity, he developed some of the first BOTs and BOOs in Africa, including the first non recourse IPP in Sub Saharan Africa and the Abidjan toll bridge.

Mr. Thiam has also led numerous public service missions. In 2003, he was appointed by President Jacques Chirac to serve as co-chair of the Global Public Goods International Task Force, together with President Ernesto Zedillo from Mexico. In 2004, Mr. Thiam was appointed by Prime Minister Tony Blair as a member of the Commission for Africa. He subsequently became a member of the Africa Progress Panel, created by Mr. Kofi Anan. In 2011, Mr. Thiam chaired the G20 High Level Panel on Infrastructure. Mr. Thiam presented the Panel’s recommendations to the Cannes G20 Summit where they were adopted by the heads of state.

Mr. Thiam served on Prime Minister’s Cameron Business Advisory Group and as a UK Trade Ambassador.

Mr. Thiam is a chevalier of the French Legion of Honour, a member of Group of 30, a member of the Board of Directors of Kering S.A., a member of the Supervisory Board of the Publicis Group, a member of the International Olympic Committee and a Special Envoy of the African Union on Covid-19. He also sits on the Advisory Board of the Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society – INSEAD.

Mr. Thiam is a graduate of the École Polytechnique, Paris and the École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris (top of his class) and holds an MBA from INSEAD, with distinction.