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CommentPandM Notebook

Don't underestimate loyalty to Credit Suisse

Paradeplatz, UBS, Credit Suisse, Swiss flags,1. August, national holyday, Switzerland, Zurich,

Recruiters say idea that levfin bankers are desperate to leave is a "misconception"

Late breaking news: On Friday, GlobalCapital reported that UniCredit had hired CEO Andrea Orcel's former colleague from UBS, Sam Kendall, to oversee a build-out of its advisory business, with a mandate to hire dozens of bankers. Subscribers can check out the full story by clicking here.

The past week brought news of yet more departures from Credit Suisse, but headhunters tell GlobalCapital that the bank's capital markets bankers are, by and large, not ready to call it quits just yet.

The latest confirmed departures are industrials M&A specialist Davide Sala, who is heading to Barclays after 22 years with the Swiss bank, and CLO structuring head Sandeep Hoshing, who has also been picked up by Barclays.

The reports of the latest exits come just a few weeks after it was revealed that a group of Credit Suisse's most senior energy and power investment bankers were leaving for rival firms.

Departures had been expected as part of the fallout from two separate, expensive disasters that struck the Swiss group earlier this year — involving Greensill Capital and Archegos Capital — and the resultant remuneration disappointments.

However, those tasked with poaching investment banking talent say that rumours of circulating CVs may be exaggerated.

"Credit Suisse have actually been quite stable on the debt side," said one. "People forget that, as a debt shop, they're a top three, fully fledged levfin platform."

So far this year, Credit Suisse does indeed rank third in the Dealogic league table of left leads on leveraged finance deals in North America, behind JP Morgan and Bank of America. In Europe, the bank is a respectable fifth, with almost the same market share as fourth placed Morgan Stanley.

"The only really meaningful loss that CS had was the FIG team that went to Jefferies," said a second recruiter, who brands the idea that there are swathes of capital markets bankers waiting to be plucked from Credit Suisse as a "misconception".

"They've had some issues relating to compensation in the short term," he says. "But there are a lot of people whose loyalty to that business will extend beyond just short term pain."

However, there are limits to any banker's loyalty, and the tide could quickly turn if Credit Suisse's leveraged finance bankers, who bring in so much of the investment bank's profits, are not shown some love.

"They are the P&L," said the first recruiter. "They’re the ones that are going to have to pay for all this mess. They're waiting to hear what the CEO and chairman think about levfin at the end of the year."

Broadening the talent pool

Meanwhile, as the scrap for junior talent continues, with banks offering graduates ever higher salaries and aggressively poaching from each other from vice-president level down, Morgan Stanley may have a secret weapon.

The US bank just rolled out its Experienced Professionals Program in London, inviting applications from people with experience working outside of investment banking to join its sales and trading teams.

The scheme, originally launched in New York last year, is part of a push to increase racial and gender diversity in the ranks, but will have the side effect of giving Morgan Stanley access to untapped sources of talent, and ones that, coming from outside the industry, are possibly to be picked up on the cheap compared to experienced hires.

Assets to the team

GlobalCapital has also noted some high level promotions in the world of real asset financing of late, with Crédit Agricole picking a new head of structured finance to take over from Jacques de Villaines, who is retiring, and Natixis selecting a head of aviation finance to replace Bénédicte Bedaine-Renault, who moved to another part of the group.

Crédit Agricole's new structured finance chief, Danielle Baron, is a high flier with plenty of international experience, who came up through the power and utilities group.

The new aviation finance lead at Natixis, Alain Rousseau, has also hopped around a bit, having worked for a while in Singapore.

Elsewhere, we reported the sudden departure of Andy Cairns from First Abu Dhabi Bank, which he had helped turn into an imposing presence in Middle Eastern capital markets, and the return of a former vice-president to Deutsche Bank in New York, in the much elevated position of co-head of Americas ECM origination and advisory.

The prodigal Deutsche banker in question, Beau Bohm, has worked at several different firms on his travels, developing a taste for technology, media and telecommunications along the way.

The occasion for his return was the departure of the previous co-head of Americas ECM, Justin Smolkin, for Jefferies.

Smolkin had only just been promoted to the co-head role at Deutsche in June, but appears to have started at Jefferies at the beginning of August, which did not leave much time for gardening leave.

Alcentra-fugal force

And finally, private credit maven Peter Glaser is parting ways with his employer of the past three years, Alcentra. His destination could not immediately be identified, but Alcentra is understood to be taking the opportunity to rethink the management of its private credit funds by installing a global chief investment officer for the product (Glaser was head of European private debt).

Alcentra already has a CIO for liquid credit, though there is a reshuffle going on there as well, with the firm bringing in Joe Cantwell from MacKay Shields to gradually take over from Graham Rainbow, who wants to focus more on credit work.

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