Credit Suisse is merging its Asia-Pacific equities and fixed income businesses as part of a broader effort to strengthen its investment banking franchise and double its profits in the region by 2018.
In an internal memo seen by FinanceAsia on Tuesday, Asia-Pacific chief executive Helman Sitohang said the strategic combination could better serve Credit Suisse clients while consolidating its risk taking capabilities and enhancing the ability to deliver multi-asset solutions.
This integrated investment banking model is getting traction in Asia as more companies tapped both equity and debt financing simultaneously to take full advantage of suppressed valuation and low interest rate environment across the region. Bringing together equities and fixed income also allows banks to provide more structural products and offer comprehensive solutions.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley have brought together the two business lines in Asia under the umbrella of a division called global capital markets, which combines the function of equities, fixed income, and leverage finance.
Meanwhile, UBS has combined multiple investment banking products under corporate client solutions, or CCS, which encompasses capital markets and advisory business.
Credit Suisse’s latest move also falls in line with the bank’s vision to adopt the One Bank model in Asia-Pacific, which entails a partnership between investment banking and private banking. Sitohang told FinanceAsia in an interview earlier that the bank is well placed to capture business from Asia’s fast-growing tycoons and billionaires.
“The combined global markets team will work closely with the other departments in Asia Pacific and across divisions, to maximize our delivery as the Trusted Entrepreneurs’ Bank of Asia Pacific,” Sitohang said in the memo.
Asia is now one of the core regions for the Swiss bank after it announced last October that it will invest more capital and resources into the region in a bid to double its 2014 pre-tax income of CHF0.9billion ($941 million) by 2018.
Credit Suisse’s new combined division for equities and fixed income is known as global markets and will encompass research and trading as well as equity and debt capital markets.
As part of the reorganisation, Credit Suisse has promoted Ali Naqvi as head of global markets with immediate effect. Naqvi, who was the bank’s head of equities in Asia-Pacific, will take on additional responsibilities to oversee the fixed income side of business and will report to Sitohang.
Brian Yoon, Credit Suisse’s head of fixed income, has decided to step down from his position and instead take on an advisory role on overall risk strategy. He will continue to report to Sitohang.
Meanwhile, the bank has also promoted Ken Pang as head of global markets trading in Asia-Pacific to oversee all trading functions across equities and fixed income. Pang was head of equities derivatives and convertibles in Asia-Pacific before the promotion.
These promotions followed a series of senior appointments in various investment banking functions in Asia late last year.