Helman Sitohang

Credit Suisse names Sitohang Asia-Pacific CEO

The Swiss bank has named Helman Sitohang as its regional CEO and Eric Varvel chairman of Asia Pacific and the Middle East.
Helman Sitohang
Helman Sitohang

Credit Suisse has named Helman Sitohang its chief executive for the Asia-Pacific region as part of a wider management shake-up.

Sitohang’s new responsibilities will be in addition to his existing role as the head of Credit Suisse’s investment bank in Asia-Pacific.

He replaces Eric Varvel, who will become chairman for Asia Pacific and the Middle East.
The Swiss bank’s reshuffle comes as Asia’s importance is growing within banking circles. There are about 3,500 listed businesses with market capitalisation of more than $50 million across 10 Asian markets that are family owned, with 40% of them being in Greater China.

Credit Suisse is looking to meld its investment banking business with its private bank to capture more fees from this fast growing group.

All the Swiss bank’s country CEOs; private banking and wealth management; equities; fixed-income; investment banking; and shared services in the region will report to Sitohang in addition to their functional reporting lines.

Sitohang will continue to be based in Singapore. During his career with Credit Suisse, Sitohang has been involved in around $150 billion of M&A and capital raisings across the globe. He has led the origination of many of the bank's high profile deals across Asia and Australia and has been with the bank since 1998.

Varvel has been CEO since 2012.

“Our clients in the region can benefit from a fully integrated suite of Private Banking and Investment Banking expertise which is difficult to replicate elsewhere”, Sitohang said in a statement on Friday.

In Asia-Pacific, Credit Suisse is present in 12 countries with 7,400 employees working in 24 offices.

Asian roots
Credit Suisse has been in Asia-Pacific since 1969 when it first established a presence in Hong Kong.
The bank has had particular success this year in the relatively high-fee paying business of US-listed China IPOs having executed 10 out of 13 China US IPOs year-to-date including world record $25bn Alibaba IPO on September 19.

China will overtake UK and Japan to become the world’s second largest equity market by 2030, with a $54 trillion capitalisation, according to Credit Suisse Research Institute.

The country has accounted for 40% ($639 billion) of the total emerging world equity capital markets deal value since 2000, which will  grow to 60% over the next 17 years, CSRI said.

Credit Suisse also says it has been the most profitable foreign bank in Korea for the last five consecutive years, and a leading M&A house with distinctive strengths in large and high-profile transactions and cross-border M&A deals.

In equities Credit Suisse is the top bank in six markets in the region including Hong Kong by exchange market share.

Credit Suisse’s private banking business in Asia is one of its fastest-growing franchises globally. At the end of June 2014, its private banking assets under management in Asia reached CHF129 billion, which represents 16% growth year-on-year and an increase of close to 50% compared to end 2011.

Ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) clients, with CHF50 million or above with the bank or have net worth of CHF250 million or above, are becoming increasingly important to Credit Suisse Private Banking in Asia-Pacific – more than 60% of regional assets under management currently are from UHNW clients.

Credit Suisse measures collaboration revenues between the divisions on a quarterly basis, and such revenues generated from providing investment banking solutions to private banking UHNW clients in Asia have more than tripled in the last three years.

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