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Credit Suisse Said to Consider Merging Its Asset-Management Unit

Credit Suisse Said to Consider Merging Its Asset-Management Unit
Pedestrians wait as a tram passes in front of the Credit Suisse Group AG's headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. Photographer: Gianluca Colla/Bloomberg

Credit Suisse Group AG, Switzerland’s second-biggest bank, is considering combining its asset-management unit with the private and investment banking divisions, a person familiar with the matter said.

The Zurich-based bank hasn’t made a decision on the consolidation, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private.

Asset management, led by Robert Shafir, 54, is the smallest of Credit Suisse’s three divisions and contributed 12 percent to the group’s pretax profit in the first half. The bank agreed in 2008 to sell part of its traditional asset-management business, which oversaw about 75 billion Swiss francs ($80 billion), to Aberdeen Asset Management Plc. Credit Suisse said in July it would sell two private-equity units to comply with new limits on investments in hedge funds and private-equity funds.

The unit had 360.5 billion francs under management at the end of June, of which 135.3 billion francs are managed for private-banking clients. These assets may be integrated into the private bank, while alternative investments may be a better fit for the securities unit, the person said.

Credit Suisse declined to comment or make Shafir, who also heads the group’s business in the Americas, available for an interview.

Merging the unit may help trim costs. Credit Suisse said in July it plans to cut an additional 1 billion francs in expenses by the end of 2013 and Chief Financial Officer David Mathers, 47, told investors at a presentation this month the lender will “continue to look for further cost reductions” beyond the announced targets.

Credit Suisse’s possible move was reported earlier by Bilanz, a Swiss business magazine.

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