Credit Suisse shakes-up senior investment banking ranks following exits

Credit Suisse has named David Wah as global head of advisory and promoted long-serving dealmakers to lead its mergers and acquisitions team following the departure of a number of senior bankers in recent weeks.

The Swiss bank has promoted veteran investment banker Wah, who has been at Credit Suisse for nearly 29 years, to one of its top dealmaking roles, according to memo from David Miller, the head of its investment banking unit, seen by Financial News.

Wah was latterly co-head of its client advisory group, but also co-leads its technology, media and telecoms investment banking team.

The appointment follows the departure of Greg Weinberger, Credit Suisse’s head of mergers and acquisitions, who has quit to join Morgan Stanley later this year, the Wall Street Journal reported on 16 June.

London-based Cathal Deasey and Steven Geller in New York have been named co-heads of M&A globally, while Scott Lindsay will remain as chairman of M&A, the memo added.

READ Credit Suisse offers pay hikes to stem exits amid Archegos fallout

“We all have a shared objective to increase our M&A revenue and market share, which we have been successful in achieving since 2019 and our announced M&A pipeline remains incredibly robust, up over 70% year-over-year and 32% against the three year average,” the memo said. “With these new appointments, we are affirming this priority and our commitment to investing in and growing this business.”

The Swiss bank has rolled out retention bonuses to a select number of senior dealmakers in a bid to stem an exodus of talent, Financial News reported on 9 June. The bonuses, which will be paid out in July, have been selectively targeted at a number of senior rainmakers that the bank views as integral to the business.

This is causing ripples internally, however, according to bankers contacted by FN, because of the select nature of the bonus and pay increases.

At least 12 senior investment bankers have left in recent weeks, but the departures have been largely in the US, where a huge pick up in deal activity has led to a battle for talent this year. Alejandro Przygoda, Credit Suisse’s global head of financial institutions, left for who for Jefferies along with several members of his team including European head Armando Rubio-Alvarez.

Managing directors in the FIG team in Europe including George Maddison, Marco Staccoli and Hugh Man are also departing for the US bank, according to people familiar with the matter.

Stephane Gruffat, a senior equity capital markets banker who spent two decades at Credit Suisse, joined Deutsche as co-head of equity capital markets and head of equity syndicate for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Credit Suisse investment bankers are concerned about the impact of scandals in other parts of the business on their 2021 bonus payments, employees told FN.

The bank is reeling from a $5.5bn hit stemming from its prime broking business after the collapse of family office Archegos Capital, as well as the impact of its ties with supply trade finance firm Greensill Capital.

Senior bankers asked Credit Suisse executives about the impact of the twin crises during an internal meeting on 29 March, but responses focused on pulling together during a period of adversity and not on the impact on pay.

READ Credit Suisse hires Bank of America’s leveraged finance capital markets boss Bishay

The bank slipped to a first quarter loss, despite reporting one of the best three month periods for its investment banking unit in more than a decade. Credit Suisse was hiring dealmakers before the crises hit – taking on eight managing directors in Europe alone over the past 12 months.

Matt Hall, formerly head of corporate broking at Deutsche Bank, joined as chairman of UK investment banking in March, while Joe Bishay left Bank of America to join its Emea leveraged finance team as a managing director in June.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Paul Clarke

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