Credit Suisse ramps up Asia-Pacific team

The Swiss bank has made a series of senior appointments across the region to reflect the growing importance of Asia to its overall business.

Credit Suisse has made several senior investment banking appointments to its Asia-Pacific business, having recently pledged to expand its franchise in the region.

Switzerland’s second-largest bank by assets has promoted Johnson Chui as head of equity capital markets for Asia Pacific to expand its equity business in the region, a person familiar with the matter told FinanceAsia on Tuesday.

Chui, who was most recently head of China equity capital markets, is taking on a broader remit that covers markets including South East Asia, India and other frontier markets.

In his new role Chui will focus on ECM origination, allowing him to build on his experience in offering equity financing solutions to clients. He will work alongside head of Asia-Pacific ECM syndicate Tucker Highfield, who will focus on deal execution.

Credit Suisse said on October 21 that it plans to double the pretax income it earned in 2014 from its Asia-Pacific business by 2018. It is also seeking to double the CHF133 billion ($139.2 billion) of client assets under management that it had during the period.

Asia currently accounts for 15% of Credit Suisse’s total revenue and 28% of its pretax income. The growing importance of the region is highlighted by the bank’s recent appointment of the Asia-Pacific chief executive officer Helman Sitohang to the group’s executive board.

The promotion of Chui comes less than a month after the appointments of Mervyn Chow and Edwin Low as co-heads of Asia-Pacific investment banking and capital markets. In an interview with FinanceAsia, the duo said Credit Suisse will continue to invest in Southeast Asia despite difficult markets in the region.

True to their words, the investment bank have this week also promoted Pankaj Goel as co-head of Southeast Asia investment banking and capital markets to work alongside Rizal Gozali, the source familiar with the matter said.

Goel will remain head of mergers and acquisitions for Southeast Asia while capitalising on the strengths of Credit Suisse’s capital markets business in the region, which has long been one of the key drivers for earnings growth.

Year-to-date Credit Suisse is the third-largest equity house in Southeast Asia by volume, having executed nine deals worth a total of $1.08 billion, according to data provider Dealogic.

In September, the bank assisted Philip Morris when it executed a $1.4 billion rights issue and share placement of its Indonesian subsidiary Sampoerna. The deal was FinanceAsia’s Best Indonesia Deal of the year.

Frontier markets, Japan

Credit Suisse is also investing more capital and resources into Asia's less developed markets and reinforcing its Japan business.

In the last two years the Swiss bank has priced two equity deals for the Pakistani government, including a $1 billion secondary placement of Habib Bank shares in April and a $388 million placement of United Bank shares in June last year.

To continue to help expand this business Credit Suisse has appointed Rehan Anwer as head of frontier markets, investment banking and capital markets, the person familiar with the matter added. He will cover a range of countries including Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos, as well as Pakistan.

In addition Credit Suisse this week poached Koichi Ito from SMBC Nikko Securities to head its investment banking and capital markets business in Japan.

Ito most recently held the position of managing director of the M&A group at SMBC Nikko. He was head of Japan investment banking at Lehman Brothers before joining the Japanese securities firm.

The Japanese national will help Credit Suisse to grow its investment banking business in what is primarily an M&A market.

The Swiss bank was the sell-side advisor in the $16 billion sale of US-based premium spirits company Beam to Suntory Holdings last year, FinanceAsia’s Japan Deal of the Year. 

Besides investment banking and capital markets, the Swiss Bank has also expanded its research capabilities by adding six analysts in its China research team.

Recently the bank’s securities joint venture in China, Credit Suisse Founder Securities, became the third foreign investment bank to receive a brokerage licence in China.


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