Credit Suisse CEF nominates economist to replace veteran indie Jeffrey Garten

Samantha Kappagoda brings 30+ years of experience to five-member board

The board of the $207m Credit Suisse High Yield Bond Fund has nominated economist Samantha Kappagoda to replace long-time independent director Jeffrey Garten.

If elected at a shareholder election on Feb. 21, Kappagoda will take the seat Garten left empty when his retirement became effective Dec. 31, 2022, according to a proxy filing.

Garten, 76, had been an independent trustee of the Credit Suisse funds since 2001. He is the dean emeritus of the Yale School of Management, which he led from 1995 to 2005. Prior to serving as dean, he was undersecretary for international trade at the U.S. Dept. of Commerce from 1993 to 1995.

He previously sat on the boards of health insurance company Aetna, Inc., from 1999 to 2019 and used-car retailer CarMax Group from 2002 to 2019.

Kappagoda, 54, is chief economist at economic analysis firm Risk Economics, Inc., where she has worked since 2009, and co-managing member at technology research firm Numerati Partners, LLC, where she has worked since 2012. Previously, she was an economist at hedge fund Caxton Associates from 1996 to 2009 and an economist at the World Bank from 1992 to 1994.

In addition to her work as an economist, Kappagoda was the founding managing editor of the Journal of Risk Finance, a role she held from 1998 to 2004.

She also sits on the board of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York and is a visiting scholar at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University.

The board’s current independent trustees include Laura A. DeFelice, 63; Mahendra R. Gupta, 66; and chair Steven R. Rappaport, 74.

The board’s sole interested trustee is John G. Popp, 66, Credit Suisse managing director and global head and chief investment officer of the credit investment group.

The board has a mandatory retirement age of 75, although the policy may be waived for individual trustees at the board’s discretion.

Rachel Hoffman is the funds’ CCO.

The board, which also oversees eight other funds in the Credit Suisse fund complex, has an audit committee and a nominating committee.

Total compensation for the independent trustees ranged from $176,975 to $211,975 for the fiscal year ending Oct. 31, 2022.

Credit Suisse Asset Management managed $420bn as of Sept. 30, 2022.

Jeffrey Garten
  • Independent trustee, Credit Suisse Funds, 2001 – 2022
  • Dean, Yale School of Management, 1995 – 2005
  • Undersecretary of commerce for international trade, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1993 – 1995
  • Board member, Aetna, Inc., 1999 – 2019
  • Board member, CarMax Group, 2002 – 2019
Samantha Kappagoda
  • Chief economist, Risk Economics, Inc., 2009 – Present
  • Co-managing member, Numerati Partners, LLC, 2012 – Present
  • Founding managing editor, Journal of Risk Finance, 1998 – 2004
  • Economist, Caxton Associates, 1996 – 2009
  • Economist, World Bank, 1992 = 1994
  • Director, Girl Scouts of Greater New York, 2014 – Present
  • Visiting scholar, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University, 2011 – Present