Credit Suisse boosts Asia hiring to tap fast-growing markets

Credit Suisse has reported a net hiring of 30 relationship managers for Asia in the first quarter.
Credit Suisse has reported a net hiring of 30 relationship managers for Asia in the first quarter.PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG • Credit Suisse Group has boosted its headcount by more than 100 across the Asia-Pacific this year as the Swiss lender seeks to increase the share of revenue it draws from the region's fast-growing markets.

Almost half of the net hires were done after mid-March, according to people familiar with the matter, a period during which the bank has had to grapple with the fallout from its ties to the collapsed family office Archegos Capital Management and supply chain financier Greensill Capital. The number excludes its India operations and information technology centre, the people said, asking not to be named.

Chief executive Thomas Gottstein has said growth in the Asia-Pacific was strong during a quarter when the lender was pushed into the red by a US$4.7 billion (S$6.28 billion) hit from the Archegos debacle, which also prompted the ouster of a string of senior executives. Pre-tax income from the region more than doubled to US$577 million.

Recent additions at its investment bank include Mr Dragi Ristevski, who joined from Citigroup as Asia-Pacific head of financial sponsors; and Ms Rachel Li, a managing director from Haitong Securities. Ms Li will focus on new economy and telecommunication, media and technology coverage in China, the people said.

Credit Suisse has also lost some staff in an increasingly heated search for talent. LGT Private Banking recently poached a senior private banker in Tokyo to spearhead a new operation in Japan. He is among several former Credit Suisse staff who have joined or are in the process of joining LGT, sources said last month.

Those departures came after Mr Russ McFarland, a desk head for Credit Suisse in Tokyo, left to join Bank of America.

Credit Suisse has previously outlined plans to triple its headcount in mainland China, joining other banks in a push as the nation opens up its US$53 trillion financial market. The bank targets raising the Asian share of its total revenue to 25 per cent from about 20 per cent, sources said last year. Much of the expansion will be focused on advisory and investment banking services for the ballooning ranks of China's rich.

In its wealth business, additions include Mr Ray Chun from Citigroup in Hong Kong; Ms Klara Chan, formerly with JPMorgan Chase in Singapore; and Ms Arleen Sy from HSBC in Hong Kong, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News and confirmed by a spokesman.

Credit Suisse also recently promoted Ms Dominique Boer to market group head for Singapore in its private banking division, according to the memo.

The bank has reported a net hiring of 30 relationship managers for Asia in the first quarter.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 07, 2021, with the headline 'Credit Suisse boosts Asia hiring to tap fast-growing markets'. Subscribe