Former Credit Suisse (CSGN) Group AG executives Jack DiMaio, David Moffitt and Chris Ricciardi formed an investment firm to buy financial companies and recruited Oswald Gruebel, the Swiss bank’s ex-chief, as an adviser, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
The firm, named Mead Park Management LLC, is scouting for banks, insurers and loan-management companies in Europe and the U.S. and may make as much as $2 billion of equity investments, said the people, who requested anonymity because the plans aren’t public. Gruebel, Credit Suisse’s chief executive officer from 2004 to 2007, is advising on potential acquisitions and helping to line up investors, the people said.
“If in the future Mead Park would go into certain transactions, I might be part of them,” Gruebel, 68, said in a telephone interview. “I can’t be more specific than that because there’s nothing, zero, at the moment.”
Mead Park, based in New York, joins Wilbur Ross’s WL Ross & Co. and other investors who have raised funds to tap opportunities in the financial industry created by the market crises in the U.S. and Europe since 2008. Many of the largest banks are unloading businesses, distressed loans and other assets to strengthen their balance sheets.
The new firm reunites a trio who last worked together under Gruebel in the early 2000s in Credit Suisse’s fixed-income division. Gruebel, who left the Swiss bank in 2007, later served as CEO of its biggest rival, Zurich-based UBS AG (UBSN), before leaving last year.
The formation of Mead Park was previously reported by Asset-Backed Alert. DiMaio, 45, will be CEO of the new firm, the people said. He said he couldn’t comment.
DiMaio developed his reputation as a corporate-bond trader at Credit Suisse First Boston, where he worked for more than 15 years and ran fixed-income trading. He later ran a hedge fund at Credit Suisse, which was spun out of the bank in 2005 and was called DiMaio Ahmad Capital LLC.
In July 2009, DiMaio was recruited to the New York-based securities firm Morgan Stanley by the company’s then-CEO, John Mack, 67, who had served as co-CEO of Credit Suisse alongside Gruebel from January 2003 to June 2004. DiMaio ran Morgan Stanley’s fixed-income trading business before leaving in January 2011.
Ricciardi, 43, who helped pioneer collateralized debt obligations in the 1990s, worked at Credit Suisse from 2000 until 2003, when he left to expand Merrill Lynch & Co.’s sales of CDOs. Such investments were used in the years before the 2008 financial crisis to turn subprime mortgages into triple-A securities.
Moffitt, 49, oversaw structured-product sales in Merrill’s fixed-income division before leaving in October 2008. He joined DiMaio at Morgan Stanley (MS) in November 2009 and left in July 2011, shortly after DiMaio departed.
Gruebel, who was hired out of retirement to revive UBS, skipped college and started his career as a trainee at Deutsche Bank AG in 1961. He joined Credit Suisse in 1970, rising through the ranks from its Eurobond trading desk. He doubled the bank’s earnings and share price in the three years after taking over as sole CEO in 2004.