Credit Suisse Asia Private Banking Chairman Kreis to Resign

Credit Suisse Group AG said Marcel Kreis, chairman of private banking for the Asia-Pacific region, will resign in a planned succession that leaves Francesco de Ferrari in charge of wealth management’s fastest-growing market.

De Ferrari has been effectively managing the operation for Switzerland’s second-largest wealth manager since he was appointed head of private banking for Asia at the start of last year, Marc Dosch, a spokesman for Zurich-based Credit Suisse, said by phone today.

De Ferrari joined Credit Suisse in 2002 and was previously head of private banking for Italy and chief operating officer for private banking in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Kreis will depart July 1, WealthBriefingAsia reported earlier.

Credit Suisse is targeting emerging-market and super-rich clients to compensate for subdued client activity and low interest rates in developed markets and withdrawals from western European customers prompted by a government-led crackdown on offshore tax evasion.

Inflows from the Asia-Pacific region rose almost 10 percent to 2.6 billion Swiss francs ($2.8 billion) in the first quarter, contributing about one third of new deposits from wealth management clients, the company reported April 24. Western European customers withdrew 2.1 billion francs over the quarter.

Asian Wealth

Offshore wealth assets across banks in Hong Kong and Singapore jumped 20 percent to $1.2 trillion last year as Asian millionaires chose local financial centers over those in Europe, according to a May 31 study by Boston Consulting Group.

Asian wealth outside Japan rose 14 percent to $28 trillion in 2012 and will surpass North America by 2017, according to the report. China will leapfrog Japan to become the world’s second-wealthiest nation by that date and is projected to have more millionaire households than its Asian neighbor by the end of December, Boston Consulting said.

Credit Suisse’s Kreis joined the firm in 2007 from UBS AG, Switzerland’s biggest bank, after a career that also spanned units of Citigroup Inc. and the Merrill Lynch international wealth arm purchased last year by Julius Baer Group Ltd.

“Marcel navigated one of the most challenging financial crises of our time, successfully growing our private banking business and advancing our market share,” Credit Suisse wrote in an internal memo to employees obtained by Bloomberg News.