Credit Suisse Promotes Lee to Asia-Pacific Capital Services Head
Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN), the second- largest Swiss bank, promoted Deborah Lee to head a team that links potential investors with hedge funds in Asia-Pacific.
Lee, based in Hong Kong, replaces Ben Happ as head of capital services team in the Zurich-based bank’s prime brokerage department in the region. Happ is moving to Boston and will specializing in connecting North American investors with international hedge funds, with a focus on Asian managers, Lee said in an interview today.
Banks including Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank AG have rejigged their Asia capital-introduction teams after moving some employees to the U.S., where their closer proximity to investors and knowledge of the Asian market may help Asian hedge funds attract capital. Asian startups raised $1.39 billion in the first five months this year, 51 percent less than a year earlier and a 69 percent decline from five years ago, according to Singapore-based Eurekahedge Pte.
“With the vast majority of capital flows into Asian hedge funds coming from North America, combined with the fact that these investors remain underweight Asia, we’ve decided to move a senior member of the Asia team to the U.S.,” said Myo Schollum, Credit Suisse’s head of prime services coverage in Asia-Pacific.
Marlin Naidoo, Deutsche Bank’s former Asia-Pacific head of capital introduction, relocated last month to the U.S. to co- head capital introduction for Americas. Angharad Fitzwilliams, formerly based in London, took over his job in Hong Kong.
Prime brokers also clear trades, lend cash and securities and provide advices to hedge funds.
Credit Suisse has benefited as hedge funds hire multiple prime brokers in the wake of the global financial crisis, to avoid being caught in bank collapses. It has closed ranks with long-time market leaders Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley in the regional prime brokerage survey released by London-based publication AsiaHedge in May.
Credit Suisse was the third-largest player in the market by the estimated $19.2 billion of assets, nearing the $19.6 billion of second-placed Morgan Stanley. It had 127 sole and shared mandates from funds, behind Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and UBS AG, according to the survey.
“Today there’s a greater diversity by both geography and type of investors in Asian hedge funds,” Happ said in the interview of his pending move, referring to institutions that are growingly making direct allocations to hedge funds without going through funds of funds. “Many of those investors are well outside of the traditional financial centers of New York and Chicago.”
Credit Suisse hired Lee from Goldman Sachs in January 2010 to be a Hong Kong-based director on its prime brokerage capital services team. She had been an executive director on the capital introduction team of the U.S. bank’s prime brokerage department in Hong Kong, having moved to Asia in 2007.
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