The Credit Suisse Group AG (SIX: CSGN, NYSE: CS) is a financial services company, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. Credit Suisse was founded by Alfred Escher in 1856 under the name Schweizerische Kreditanstalt (SKA, English: Swiss Credit Institution). The company is organized as a stock corporation with three divisions: Investment Banking, Private Banking & Wealth Management and a Shared Services Group that provides marketing and support to the other two divisions.
The firm earned accolades throughout the recent financial crises for prudent risk management and strategic allocation of capital. It also gained prestige for being one of the few major international banks to weather the crisis without any direct government support. In 2009, Credit Suisse was recognized as "Bank of the Year" by the International Financing Review.
In 1942, it opened its first branch outside of Switzerland, in New York City. In 1988, it gained a controlling stake in The First Boston Corporation, hence the long-time name of its investment banking unit Credit Suisse First Boston. In 1993, Credit Suisse Group bought Schweizerische Volksbank (English: People's Bank of Switzerland). In 1996 the two retail banks were merged and renamed Credit Suisse. In 2000, it acquired the investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) and, with it, an e-commerce software portfolio, including DLJ Direct, that it later sold to the Bank of Montreal.