Raphael resigns as regional head of Credit Suisse IB

Paul Raphael resigns after leading investment banking in Asia for less than two years. Vikram Malhotra and Helman Sitohang will take over as co-heads.

Paul Raphael, head of the investment banking department (IBD) for Asia-Pacific at Credit Suisse for close to two years, has resigned from the firm to pursue new opportunities, according to an internal memo. He will be replaced by Vikram Malhotra and Helman Sitohang, who will lead IBD in the region as co-heads. The pair will also take on joint responsibility for Malhotra's current job as head of the global market solutions group for Asia-Pacific, which includes all of the firm's equity and debt financing businesses in the region -- essentially ECM, DCM and leveraged finance.

Sitohang will retain his current job as country CEO for Indonesia, which is a key market for Credit Suisse in Asia and one where the Swiss bank has repeatedly outranked the competition over the past few years.

There was no information available last night on what Raphael's new opportunities may consist of, but according to the memo, he will remain at Credit Suisse and work with Malhotra and Sitohang over the next few weeks to transition his responsibilities.

Raphael, who was perviously based in Europe, was appointed head of IBD for Asia-Pacific in May 2007 to replace Joe Gallagher who was given a new role as vice-chairman of IBD and head of mergers & acquisitions for Asia-Pacific. According to the memo, Raphael has overseen a significant build-out of the bank's platform during his tenure in Asia, deepening its resources in many crucial areas across countries and sectors, as well as in M&A and capital markets, resulting in significant market share gains for Credit Suisse.

Malhotra and Sitohang both have decades of experience of working in Asia and are, according to the memo, "especially well qualified to leverage the entire integrated bank for the needs of our clients". They will report regionally to Asia-Pacific CEO Kai Nargolwala and globally to Jim Amine and Marc Granetz, who are global co-heads of IBD. In their roles as co-heads of the global markets solutions group, Malhotra and Sitohang will also report to Jim Amine, global head of GMSG.

Malhotra joined Credit Suisse in 1987 and, after working in New York, San Francisco and Singapore, he has now been based in Hong Kong for 10 years. He became the first head of the bank's Asia-Pacific global markets solutions group when it was set up in January 2005 as part of a global reorganisation. Before that, he was head of technology, media and telecoms within the Asian investment banking department.

Currently a managing director, Malhotra has been involved in numerous high-profile transactions in the region, including the dual-listing initial public offering for Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, which at $22 billion is still the largest IPO in the world.

Like Malhotra, Sitohang is a managing director and currently vice-chairman of IBD for non-Japan Asia. In addition to his country CEO role in Indonesia, he is also head of investment banking for the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam and has senior marketing responsibility for structured products in Southeast Asia. He is also a member of the IBD operating committee in Asia.

During his 10 years with the bank he has lead the origination on most of Credit Suisse's high-profile deals in Southeast Asia. Prior to joining the Swiss bank in 1998, he worked in the derivatives group at Bankers Trust, both in New York and Singapore.

Raphael's departure is part of a trend that has seen several senior investment bankers leave major firms over the past six months. No longer tied in by high-flying bonuses, these people are typically leaving either to pursue a completely different career outside investment banking, or to join one of the rival firms that have not been forced to go hat in hand to their respective governments for bailout capital and which are therefore still able to offer more competitive compensation packages. Their relative capital strength also means that these firms are expected to be more active in terms of using their balance sheets to support their businesses and win mandates within both M&A and capital markets.

Credit Suisse has not accepted any capital injection from the Swiss government, but the bank said in December that its investment banking division will be refocused towards less risky and less volatile areas such as client and flow trading businesses, while the involvement in more complex products will be scaled back. And of the 5,300 jobs that were cut globally as part of its latest downsizing round, 3,800 disappeared within investment banking.

Before moving to Asia, Raphael was one of the key drivers of Credit Suisse's capital markets and structured products business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. As co-head of the global markets solutions group for Europe he was particularly focused on equity, equity-linked and equity derivatives products, and was credited with more than doubling the bank's business in these areas during his three years at the helm.

Prior to joining Credit Suisse in 2004, Raphael was head of French investment banking at Merrill Lynch. He has spent much of his 20-year investment banking career, which also includes work for Salomon Brothers, in developing markets and is fluent in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic.

Credit Suisse tops Dealogic's league table for completed M&A transactions in Asia ex-Japan so far this year with $8.6 billion worth of deal credits and a 22% market share, which is almost double the 11.8% market share captured by Rothschild as the runner-up. The Swiss bank is seventh in terms of announced deals with a 17% market share. In 2008, it ranked eighth on completed deals and 10th on announced.

Among the deals that have kept its bankers busy this year is Aluminum Corporation of China's $19.5 billion additional investment in Australia's Rio Tinto, where Credit Suisse is advising Rio Tinto; and the joint investment by Tokyo Electric Power, Toshiba and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation into Canada-based Uranium One, where it advised the Japanese buyers.

In the capital markets, Credit Suisse was one of the bookrunners on the Republic of the Philippines' $1.5 billion sovereign bond and acted as sole global coordinator and joint lead manager on Westfield's $1.9 billion equity placement, which was the largest fully underwritten placement in Australia ever. 

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