John Mack will step down as co-chief executive at Credit Suisse Group when his contract expires on July 12, ending a relatively brief chapter in the charismatic China hand's career. Mr Mack joined the group only three years ago from Morgan Stanley, where he was widely credited for the successful establishment of the mainland's only foreign-invested investment bank, China International Capital Corp. The joint venture with China Construction Bank marked the starting point for Morgan Stanley's push into the mainland. Mr Mack will also step down from his job as head of investment banking arm Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB), 'having agreed with the board of directors not to renew his contract', the bank said. 'On behalf of the board of directors I wish to express our appreciation for everything that John Mack has accomplished at CSFB and Credit Suisse Group. He led a dramatic turnaround of CSFB - delivering a US$1.4 billion profit last year, enhancing its reputation by resolving major regulatory challenges and strengthening the franchise in key areas for future growth,' chairman Walter Kielholtz said. Hong Kong-based observers noted that Mr Mack's long stint with Morgan Stanley had given him a wealth of knowledge about and contacts within China - assets which he brought with him to CSFB and could be lost with his departure. 'If you remove a Sinophile from the boardroom, it obviously takes away some of the strategic advantages you may have had,' one source said, noting that his replacements appeared to be more focused on Europe. One banker cited Mr Mack's China experience as a key factor in the Zurich-based group's improved track-record on the mainland in the past few years. The bank has risen to third in the ranking for China equity issuance from 17th in 2002, according to Bloomberg. Oswald Grubel, co-chief executive with Mr Mack, will become sole chief executive while Brady Dougan will take over the top New York position.