PCCWÆs Jack So joins Credit Suisse

So is to become vice-chairman for Greater China. He will support business development in investment banking, private banking and asset management.
Jack So, 62, is to join Credit Suisse with the rank of managing director, and will answer to the CEO for Asia, Kai Nargolwala, who also chairs the Asia-Pacific regional committee. Nargolwala himself was recruited just three months ago from Standard Chartered. So will be active across the whole of the bank's operations and will start his new job on January 1.

There is one other vice-chairman at Credit Suisse in Asia - Lito Camacho, the former finance minister of the Philippines, who is based in Singapore.

So will focus on Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China. He speaks fluent Mandarin and is known in Taiwan from an early stint in the Hong Kong civil service promoting trade, as well as his current position as chairman of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).

HKTDC, which is responsible for helping local Hong Kong firms invest in China, has given So a perfect platform for establishing relationships on the mainland, especially in South China.

So is reportedly an asset to Credit Suisse because of his range of experience across both the corporate and government sectors, and because of the number of relationships he has created over that time. He headed up the MTR Corporation between 1995 and 2003 as CEO and then joined PCCW between 2003 and 2007, with the title of deputy chairman and group managing director. Earlier in his career, he worked in the brokerage game. He will be expected to provide substantial strategic input to the bank's operations.

So is likely to play an important role on Credit Suisse's private banking and asset management side, since much local asset management revolves around the super-rich regional elites (whom he knows well). China is the fastest growing private banking market in the world, at least its offshore portion. Asset management in the region is closely tied to these high-net-worth individuals.

So also has clear strengths in transportation and telecommunications. From his stint at the MTR Corporation, which engages in a great deal of real estate development, heÆs also knowledgeable about property.

So is from Hong Kong, and a native Cantonese speaker, and will remain based in Hong Kong.
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