Credit Suisse adds IB bankers in China

The Swiss bank strengthens its China franchise after chief executive officer calls for larger China presence.

Credit Suisse has added three senior bankers to its China investment banking team in Beijing and Shanghai, following chief executive officer Tidjane Thiam’s call to increase the bank’s China presence.

The highest profile appointment is Li Ping, former co-head of corporate coverage and deputy Beijing branch manager at Deutsche Bank. She will be relocating to Shanghai to join Credit Suisse’s investment banking and capital markets team as a managing director, with a focus mainly on corporate client coverage, according to a statement released by the Swiss bank on Tuesday.

Credit Suisse has also hired Summer Xia as a managing director and chief representative of the investment banking and capital markets division in Beijing. Xia, previously a managing director in China International Capital Corporation’s investment banking division, will help strengthen the bank’s relationship with Chinese institutions as well as government and regulatory organisations, according to the statement.

In addition, former Deutsche Bank senior relationship manager Ma Jie will be joining as a director in Credit Suisse’s China coverage team in Shanghai.

These appointments come at a time when Credit Suisse is looking to boost investment and resources in China as part of a broader Asia-Pacific expansion strategy.

During the annual Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference held in April, group CEO Tidjane Thiam said the bank was underweighted in China — and emphasised the need to push to get a larger market share in the world’s second biggest economy.

Credit Suisse’s presence in China dates back to 2008, when it set up a joint venture with China’s Founder Securities to access the A-share market.

Known as Credit Suisse Founder Securities, the JV obtained a brokerage license in China late last year, becoming the third Sino-foreign brokerage firm with permission to provide both investment banking and securities trading to international investors in China.

But Credit Suisse has not been active in China in terms of investment banking business, especially when compared to rivals Goldman Sachs and UBS, which also operate their China businesses through joint ventures with local brokerage firms.

Credit Suisse now wants to change that. The bank's management wants to make the most of the increasing participation of international funds in the Chinese market, which is coming through various cross-border investment channels such as the qualified foreign institutional investor (QFII) programme, Renminbi QFII initiatives, and the Shanghai-Hong Kong stock connect program.

Besides securities brokerage and investment banking, Credit Suisse also aims to expand into wealth management in China in order to capture the business opportunities created by the rapid rise of the country’s private wealth market.

“Together, these appointments demonstrate Credit Suisse’s commitment to building its presence in China and to driving future revenue growth in this strategically important market for the bank,” the bank said in the statement.

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