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NEW YORK: Credit Suisse Group AG is considering a sale of its US asset management business and the firm’s investment bank chief is set to depart.
This comes as the company nears a strategy revamp that’s likely to reshape the business and its top ranks.
The Swiss bank recently began a sales process for the US operations of Credit Suisse Asset Management, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public.
The unit, which includes a platform for investing in collateralised loan obligations, is expected to draw interest from private equity firms, the people said.
No final decision has been made and Credit Suisse could opt to hold onto the unit.
Christian Meissner’s departure is expected to be announced on Oct 27 alongside the bank’s strategic review.
According to the sources, Meissner, who has been focused on the overhaul of the investment bank, is considering starting his own advisory firm or joining another institution next year.
Credit Suisse is in the midst of a critical strategic review after multiple missteps drove the bank’s share price to record lows.,
The future of the investment bank is at the centre of the company’s turnaround plans and is expected to be significantly pared back or even split up.
The main question is how the bank will pay for any restructuring, leading it to consider unit sales and spurring outside investors to weigh in with funds.
Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia are mulling whether to put money into Credit Suisse’s investment bank and other businesses to take advantage of depressed values.
The oil-rich emirate and its Gulf neighbour are separately exploring potential investments through sovereign wealth funds such as Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Co and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
A deal could also come through other vehicles in which each country owns significant stakes, the people added. Deliberations are at an early stage and it isn’t clear if they’ll lead to firm offers. Potential investors are wary about the risk of future losses or legal issues, they said.
Credit Suisse has long counted on wealthy Middle Eastern investors as top shareholders, including the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and Saudi Arabia’s Olayan Group.
They’ve often invested in times of need, including the QIA’s participation in Credit Suisse’s approximately US$2bil convertible notes issuance in April 2021.
That helped shore up the balance sheet after Archegos.
Separately, Credit Suisse has gauged the QIA’s interest in investing via a capital injection or stake purchase in one of the units, according to people familiar with the matter. A representative for QIA declined to comment.,