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Michael Klein wants ‘problem-solvers’ for CS First Boston in APAC

Credit Suisse’s corporate financiers in the Asia Pacific region have a big role to play in Michael Klein’s plans for CS First Boston.

Last week, Klein held an off-site meeting for the bank’s 300 managing directors (MDs) in its investment banking and capital markets (IBCM) division in New York, where he outlined his vision for a global investment banking boutique.

The bank’s heads of APAC IBCM were among the senior bankers to give a presentation, according to sources at the meeting. This was the first public forum at which Klein gave a detailed view of what he wants First Boston to look like.

He is aiming for an initial public offering of the business by 2025, and although it will be headquartered in New York with a strong focus on the US, Klein stressed that Europe and Apac will be crucial to the plan.  “The APAC business is on fire at the moment, and its importance really came across,” said one MD at the event.

Klein told attendees that he wants MDs who have direct relationships with the chief executives and chairs of companies. “We want problem-solvers,” he reportedly told those present.

He did not provide any update about external financing for the venture, following reports that private equity firm Apollo and Standard Chartered were among those who have held discussions about providing capital or lending muscle. But he said that all the businesses within IBCM will move across to the new venture.

That means the bank’s mergers and acquisitions advisory business, along with debt and equity capital markets and leveraged finance, will all be part of CS First Boston. It’s not clear whether Credit Suisse’s equity research business will move across. The equity sales and trading business may become a joint venture with Credit Suisse, although Klein did not confirm any details, according to those present.

Klein wants to implement a partnership structure at CS First Boston, and reports say that he could be looking to name between 50 and 100 top bankers to the top rank. He wants all staff to hold shares in CS First Boston.

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AUTHORDavid Rothnie Insider Comment

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