August 22, 2018 / 4:22 AM / a month ago

Credit Suisse names new heads for Asia private banking as CEO leaves

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) on Wednesday named two veteran bankers to lead its Asia Pacific private banking business with the unit’s chief executive leaving to join Australia’s largest listed wealth manager AMP Ltd (AMP.AX).

FILE PHOTO: Switzerland's national flag flies next to the logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse at a branch office in Luzern, Switzerland October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

The departure of Francesco De Ferrari, who was the head of Credit Suisse’s private banking business in Asia Pacific, adds to a string of senior exits at the Swiss bank in the region in the past one year.

Under the new management structure created after Ferrari’s exit, Francois Monnet will take on the role of head of private banking in North Asia and Benjamin Cavalli will be responsible for private banking in South Asia.

Credit Suisse said the new structure would result in closer proximity to clients, shorten decision-making lines and increase focus in a region where private banking is at the centre of its growth strategy and has been an area of expansion.

Under Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam, the bank has made Asia its priority region for growth, and in the last couple of years it has been adding more relationship managers and expanding its footprint in the region for its private banking business.

In the second quarter, Credit Suisse private banking revenue in Asia Pacific rose 2 percent to 412 million Swiss francs (324.46 million pounds)from a year earlier, while it fell 9.5 percent from the preceding quarter.

The Swiss bank’s private banking assets under management in Asia Pacific reached a record high of 206 billion Swiss francs ($206.89 billion) in the first half of 2018.

Credit Suisse was ranked third, after UBS Group AG (UBSG.S) and Citigroup Inc (C.N), in the Asian Private Banker’s 2017 regional private banking league table as per assets under management.

The bank, however, has also seen some senior-level exits in the region from its other business units in the last one year.

Its Asia Pacific co-head of investment banking and capital markets Mervyn Chow left in January, followed by the departure of Ali Naqvi, chairman of its global markets unit in the region, and head of Asia Pacific ECM syndicate Tucker Highfield.

($1 = 0.9957 Swiss francs)

Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Sunil Nair

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