Credit Suisse has hired a senior banker from JP Morgan to help bolster its private equity coverage in Asia Pacific. The Swiss bank has put Patrick No in charge of its financial sponsors team in the region.
No, previously an executive director with JP Morgan’s financial sponsors group for emerging Asia, will bring with him a network of buyside contacts in the fund management industry, something which could immediately enhance the Swiss bank’s private client coverage in the region.
No will be based in Hong Kong, and will report to co-head of Asia-Pacific investment banking Mervyn Chow and Edwin Low, as well as to Malcolm Price, Credit Suisse’s global head of financial sponsors.
While Credit Suisse has primarily focused on corporate and high-net-worth clients, it is close to a number of private equity firms and has originated capital market transactions for some of these firms in recent years. The hire shows the Swiss bank is ambitious to make the most out of these relationships.
Among the deals Credit Suisse has already helped private equity firms close, the bank was the sole advisor to CVC Capital Partners when CVC sold Rp3 trillion ($227 million) of shares in Indonesian retail giant Matahari Department Store through a follow-on offering in May this year.
Credit Suisse is also a frequent partner of US private equity firm Warburg Pincus, having assisted the firm in the $401 million sale of shares in Chinese auto rental company Car Inc last year. It was also joint bookrunner on China Biologic’s $242 million Nasdaq IPO last year, through which Warburg Pincus reduced its stake by about 10%.
From a deal sourcing point of view, maintaining business relationship with private equity firms offers investment banks an edge when it comes to winning mandates for capital market deals, although a large part of the decision still comes down to fees and terms.
Besides deal sourcing, many banks now keep relationships with PE firms to strengthen their distribution networks, particularly into high-growth companies and start-ups. Credit Suisse’s strength in the technology sector very much fits into that strategy because it will be able to connect technology start-ups with private equity investors.
The most high-profile deal in this category was Chinese taxi hailing app operator Didi Kuaidi’s $2 billion fundraising in July last year. Credit Suisse was the only international bank involved and played a key role in introducing private equity firms such as Capital International Private Equity and Ping An Ventures to the company, which is now the largest local competitor to Uber.