Credit Suisse shifts senior dealmakers to new client advisory group - memo

By Pamela Barbaglia
·3 min read
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is seen in Bern

By Pamela Barbaglia

LONDON (Reuters) - Credit Suisse is shifting three of its most senior dealmakers in EMEA to a new team focused purely on bringing in business as part of its efforts to increase M&A revenue and market share, according to a memo seen by Reuters.

The bank has promoted two London-based bankers focusing on financial services - Max Mesny and Chris Williams - and Italy-based Andrea Donzelli to its Client Advisory Group, which was first launched in October to deepen relationships with corporate clients, said the memo whose content was confirmed by a Credit Suisse spokesperson.

The trio will join a group of seven investment bankers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and the United States who were promoted on Oct. 23 when the new unit, headed by David Wah, was first announced.

It comes as the Swiss bank seeks to win a bigger slice of global dealmaking, hiring former Bank of America executive Christian Meissner in October for a new role to help cross-sell more investment banking services to ultra-wealthy entrepreneurs in its private bank.

Its new client advisory structure follows sweeping personnel changes at the top of other investment banks, including JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs.

It also highlights the pressures big investment banks are facing to retain senior staff in the face of increasing competition from rival boutiques which can attract seasoned bankers with more entrepreneurial roles.

"With the addition of the Client Advisory Group in EMEA, we are affirming our commitment to investing in and growing this business," said the memo which was signed by Wah as well as David Miller, who heads capital markets and advisory, and Jens Welter, who heads the EMEA investment bank.

The client advisory group, which now comprises 10 bankers overall, also includes global energy chairman Osmar Abib, global co-head of media and telecom Giuseppe Monarchi, and global head of chemicals Spyros Svoronos.

Within EMEA, Welter and Monarchi will coordinate efforts to further expand the bank's so-called "coverage advisory team" with new hires and internal transfers, the memo said.

Credit Suisse, which has proposed outgoing Lloyds Banking Group Chief Executive António Horta-Osório as its new chairman, ranks sixth in global M&A league tables so far this year, ahead of UBS and behind Wall Street's top five banks, while it has an eighth placement in Europe, Refinitiv data shows.

In November, it landed a key mandate on S&P's $44 billion swoop on London-based IHS Markit - the biggest deal so far this year - which has helped it boost its league table ranking.

FIG SHAKE-UP

The bank has also reviewed the leadership of its financial institution group (FIG) following the promotions of both Mesny and Williams and in the wake of a series of systemic mergers within the banking industry.

In a separate memo, Credit Suisse announced that Armando Rubio-Alvarez - who had been co-heading the FIG team in EMEA with Max Mesny for the past three years - will become the sole head of the EMEA FIG franchise, while Mesny will serve as chairman of EMEA FIG.

Williams, who rejoined Credit Suisse in October from boutique advisory firm Perella Weinberg Partners, will continue to focus on EMEA FIG business while taking on a broader role as vice chairman for capital markets and advisory across EMEA.

Alejandro Przygoda - who heads global FIG at Credit Suisse - will still have Rubio-Alvarez, Mesny and Williams reporting into him, although both Mesny and Williams will have another reporting line into Wah as members of the client advisory group.

Donzelli, a well-known banker in Italy where he advised infrastructure group Atlantia among others, will retain his existing role as co-head of capital markets and advisory for Italy.

(Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia in London, Editing by Louise Heavens, Catherine Evans and Susan Fenton)