Catherine Bradley, the head of Credit Suisse’s equity-linked solutions group in Asia-Pacific, has left the bank, according to sources. Bradley has led the Hong Kong-based group since it was set up four years ago and was mainly responsible for delivering derivatives-based solutions to financial institutions and corporate clients — a business that has become increasingly important as a complement to the flagging deal flow in the public capital markets.
Bradley, who was a managing director, transferred to Hong Kong from London to head up the group in the late summer of 2008 and after almost four years here, one source said she wanted to move back to Europe. With the current market situation in Europe though, it seems no suitable position was available and Bradley and the bank decided to part ways.
She is said to have left her job two weeks ago, and is now on gardening leave.
It is unclear whether Credit Suisse will replace Bradley directly. One source said the bank may appoint someone internally, perhaps from a different region, but it may also choose to stick with the current team of four people. Given the current market environment, there is no real rush to appoint a new head of the group, the source said.
In November last year, Credit Suisse announced a plan to cut costs by SFr2 billion ($2.3 billion) through 2012 and 2013, which will include a 7% reduction in headcount. That staff reduction is still work in progress. The bank said on Wednesday that it had already achieved its SFr2 billion cost-cutting target at the end of June — 18 months ahead of schedule — and has decided to increase the end-2013 target to SFr3 billion.
When the Asia-Pacific equity-linked solutions group was set up four years ago, the bank said it wanted to increase its presence in equity derivatives to complete the suite of structured solutions that it was offering its corporate clients, such as hedging, monetisation opportunities, adding structured components to convertibles and financing liquid equity stakes.
“All of those areas were being covered by different departments, so we think it makes sense to give it scale and integrate these functions in one specialised unit,” Vikram Malhotra, then head of the global markets solutions group for non-Japan Asia, said at the time. Malhotra is now co-head of the investment banking department for Asia-Pacific.
Before moving to Hong Kong, Bradley had led a similar team in London that focused on providing derivatives-based solutions to European financial sponsors and UK companies.
Bradley joined Credit Suisse’s predecessor Credit Suisse First Boston in 2003 from Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, where she was responsible for the block monetisation and convertible origination teams. She began her career in the investment banking division at Merrill Lynch in the UK and US and has also worked at SBC O’Connor, where she focused on derivatives and structured equity-linked mandates for French corporate clients.
The equity-linked solutions group is part of Credit Suisse’s global markets solutions group (GMSG), which includes equity and debt capital markets as well as structured products. GMSG in turn is part of the investment banking division.