Credit Suisse sees another departure as Hong Kong-based managing director leaves for HSBC

Credit Suisse has become a poaching ground for rivals in recent times. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON - Credit Suisse Group's Mr Christopher Chua is leaving the bank to help oversee the Asia mergers and acquisitions (M&A) business at HSBC Holdings, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Mr Chua, a Hong Kong-based managing director and deputy head of M&A for Asia-Pacific at Credit Suisse, has resigned from the bank, according to the people.

A Credit Suisse representative could not immediately provide comment, while a spokesman for HSBC did not respond to requests for comments. Mr Chua declined to comment.

Mr Chua has been with Credit Suisse for more than 18 years, working in the bank’s offices in Hong Kong and Singapore. He was appointed to his role at the Swiss bank in September last year, adding to his job as Greater China head of M&A. The appointment at the time was part of a reorganisation of the firm's investment banking team in the region amid an effort to drive growth.

Poaching

Credit Suisse has become a poaching ground for rivals recently, with the lender struggling to contain the fallout from a series of scandals and flagging performance. It is due to unveil a strategic review this month that is expected to include a large-scale investment banking retreat.

Its wealth business in Asia has also been rocked by high-level departures recently, the latest being its deputy wealth management head for the region, Ms Young Jin Yee, who is leaving after about two decades with the bank.

HSBC, meanwhile, has been adding to its ranks of top dealmakers in Asia. Earlier this year, the British lender hired Mr Sandeep Pahwa from Barclays for a senior role in South Asia.

Credit Suisse on Thursday said it was exploring a sale of the Mandarin Oriental Savoy Zurich as it seeks ways to drive down costs and restore profitability.

The bank has been working with an adviser to solicit interest in the storied hotel, formerly known as the Savoy Hotel Baur en Ville, said people with knowledge of the matter. The hotel’s valuation could not immediately be learnt. 

The news was first reported by Swiss finance blog Inside Paradeplatz, which also wrote that the hotel could be worth around 400 million Swiss francs (S$582 million). 
Credit Suisse announced in 2020 that the hotel, opened almost two centuries ago by Austrian baker Johannes Baur, would undergo extensive renovations, closing its doors from early 2022 to mid-2024.

The hotel’s total number of rooms is set to shrink to 80 from 104, resulting in more spacious accommodation, Credit Suisse said at the time. BLOOMBERG

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