ZURICH Credit Suisses capital markets advisory unit will help it win business from Asias growing ranks of self-made millionaires, new Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam said in a newspaper interview.
Thiam joined the Swiss bank as CEO in July and signaled a strategy shake-up to focus on private banking and wealth management, particularly in Asia. Credit Suisse is currently the fourth-biggest global player in private banking, according to wealth management consultant Scorpio Partnership.
In an interview published on Monday with The Straits Times in Singapore, the CEO said advising customers on equity and debt market transactions for their businesses also provided an important service for some wealthy clients in Asia.
Banks with a strong equity franchise have a key role to play in helping companies to go to their next stage of development, go public, raise debts to fund development and generate economic growth, Thiam was quoted as saying.
Im quite keen on that part of the business. We can manage the assets and protect and grow the wealth of individuals, but we can also be an entrepreneurs bank and cover their needs.
Growth in Asia Pacific is crucial for Credit Suisse and their rivals. Boston Consulting Group estimates that the region, excluding Japan, will overtake North America in 2016 as the worlds wealthiest.
A Swiss newspaper reported on Sunday that Thiam will announce plans this month to decentralize Credit Suisses global operations in a strategy shift that will boost its presence in Asia and cut jobs in Zurich.
Credit Suisse has said that Thiam will detail his strategy for the Zurich-based bank on Oct. 21.
While talking up the importance of its advisory unit, Thiam again indicated he could shrink Credit Suisses wider investment bank to free up capital.
Ive said that we wanted lower-volatility earnings and less capital-intensive growth and that tells you a lot, he told the newspaper.
(Reporting by Joshua Franklin; Editing by Pravin Char)