Credit Suisse boosts Asia hiring to tap fast growing markets

Credit Suisse has lost some staff in an increasingly heated search for talent. PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - 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 since mid-March, according to people familiar then matter, a period during which the bank has grappled with the fallout from its ties to collapsed family office Archegos Capital Management and supply chain financier Greensill Capital. The number excludes its India operations and information-technology center, the people said, asking not to be named discussing hiring.

Chief executive Thomas Gottstein has said growth in 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. Pretax income from the region more than doubled to US$577 million.

Recent additions at its investment bank include Dragi Ristevski, who joined from Citigroup as Asia-Pacific head of financial sponsors; and 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's among several former Credit Suisse staff who have joined or are in the process of joining LGT, the people familiar said last month.

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

A Hong Kong-based spokeswoman at declined to comment.

Credit Suisse has previously outlined plans to triple its headcount in mainland China, joining other banks in a push as the nation opens its US$53 trillion financial market.

It targets raising the Asian share of its total revenue to 25 per cent from about 20 per cent, people familiar 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 Ray Chun from Citigroup in Hong Kong, Klara Chan, formerly with JPMorgan Chase & Co in Singapore and Arleen Sy from HSBC Holdings in Hong Kong, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News and confirmed by a spokeswoman.

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

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

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