Credit Suisse Names New Private Bank Heads for China, Australia

  • Francois Monnet to lead Greater China business from January
  • Firm to focus on wealth management over investment banking

Credit Suisse Group AG has named two new private-banking heads for Greater China and Australia as the Swiss firm positions itself to build on Chief Executive Officer’s Tidjane Thiam October pledge to expand in wealth management.

From the start of next year, Francois Monnet will be the firm’s head of Greater China private banking, while Alex Wade will lead the business in Australia, according to an internal announcement Tuesday that was confirmed by a spokeswoman. Monnet is currently chief operating officer for Asia-Pacific private banking, while Wade is the regional chief of staff in the division.

Thiam, recruited in July to rebuild investor confidence in Switzerland’s second-largest bank, is seeking to improve returns squeezed by tougher capital demands and record-low interest rates. In October, he unveiled a multi-year plan that will expand wealth management, especially in Asia, at the expense of investment banking, which he plans to shrink and place at the service of wealth-management clients.

Credit Suisse’s private-banking business in Asia Pacific had 133 billion Swiss francs ($130 billion) of client assets under management as of September, according to data provided by the firm. The amount had grown more than 60 percent from 2011 to 2014, the company said.

Investment Banking

Monnet will take over as Greater China head from Tee Fong Seng, who will remain as CEO of the Hong Kong branch and as vice chairman for Asia-Pacific private banking, according to the announcement. He will be based in Hong Kong, reporting to Francesco de Ferrari, head of Asia-Pacific private banking.

Wade will be located in Sydney, reporting to de Ferrari and Australia CEO John Knox. His appointment follows the retirement of Edward Jewell-Tait, Credit Suisse said.

The appointments come after the firm also chose new heads within its investment-banking operations in the region.

Johnson Chui was appointed head of equity capital markets for the Asia-Pacific region, a person with knowledge of the matter said Tuesday, while Pankaj Goel was named co-head of Southeast Asia investment banking and capital markets alongside Rizal Gozali. Goel also retains his previous role as head of Southeast Asia M&A, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.

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