Credit Suisse launches private banking in India

The bank adds wealth management to its suite of products in India as it moves towards creating a full-service investment banking business in the country.
Credit Suisse announced yesterday that it has launched a wealth management business in Mumbai.

Credit Suisse got a portfolio manager license from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in January 2008. It now intends to offer high-net-worth individuals, family-owned businesses and entrepreneurs based in India a range of local and international investment products and services including advice on capital raising, listings and succession planning.

Mihir (Mickey) Doshi, country head for Credit Suisse in India, said in a written statement that the bank had been developing an understanding of India for over a decade and that the local wealth management business complemented its existing investment banking and securities operations. Doshi moved to Credit Suisse in January 2006 having spent 20 years with Morgan Stanley.

"With its wealth management operations in India, Credit Suisse will now be able to provide high-net-worth individuals locally with a comprehensive range of investment products and services,ö says Puneet Matta, head of wealth management for Credit Suisse in India. ôWithin the next three years, we aim to become one of India's top three wealth management players." The Swiss bank poached Matta, a career Citibanker, from the US bank in December 2007. Matta was then country business manager at Citi, with responsibility for the onshore private banking business.

Credit Suisse reckons that the number of households in India with bankable assets over $1 million will increase from 120,000 in 2007 to 300,000 in 2012 and total bankable assets will reach more than $1 trillion in 2012.

Credit Suisse was forced to wind up its India operations in 2001 for two years. Since 2004 it has been relaunching a full suite of investment banking products in a phased manner. In July 2005 the Swiss bank opened a financial consultancy and advisory office for its private banking business in Mumbai. It subsequently got a merchant banking license and in March 2007 it added equity broking.

Credit Suisse intends to open offices in New Delhi and Bangalore, in addition to its existing Mumbai office. It already has teams in Dubai, London, Singapore and Zurich, catering to high-net-worth non-resident Indians.
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