Women in finance: Claire Sudden-Spiers

As head of Asian equity advisory at Rothschild, Claire Sudden-Spiers makes the grade as one of the region's exemplary bankers.

Educating potential issuers is a key job in Asia and Claire Sudden-Spiers, head of Asian equity advisory and head of Southeast Asia at Rothschild, has made a career out it, advising a wide range of clients, from small, family-run businesses such as Indonesian taxi cab company BlueBird all the way up to Alibaba.

In addition to working with clients to get the correct syndicate size, Sudden-Spiers and her team advice them where best to list, how best to structure deals, and how to get the best terms from banks. “We advise on paying the appropriate fee levels. How do you properly structure a remuneration package to incentivize the banks to do a good job?” she said.

Getting the balance right is crucial for repeat business and Sudden-Spiers estimates more than half of Rothschild’s clients have worked with the company before.

An 18-year veteran at Rothschild, Sudden-Spiers has lived in Asia since 2009 and worked on a number of landmark transactions.

She oversaw the team that advised Alibaba ahead of its $25 billion IPO last September. The deal was not only the largest flotation in history but also tremendously successful for all involved — it generated substantial demand from investors and the six-bank syndicate worked well together to bring Jack Ma’s e-commerce behemoth to market.

Singapore-based Sudden-Spiers also worked on the $200 million IPO of BlueBird, the Indonesian third-generation run taxicab company. Although weak market conditions contributed to the deal getting downsized, it was the largest IPO in Indonesia in 2014 and was widely seen as a success story. BlueBird’s shares jumped 14.6% on their trading debut and finished the year up 45%.

Rothschild also advises private equity clients, an area the company aims to develop in coming years. Last year it worked with private equity firm CVC on its stake sale in Hong Kong Broadband Network. The deal decreased CVC’s holding in Hong Kong’s second-largest broadband provider to 14.4% from 68.4% and proved a lucrative investment for CVC.

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