Credit Suisse landed the top honor in fund linked derivatives, winning client plaudits for due diligence, flexibility and innovation with wrappings and payouts. Under Walter Rotondo, global fund-linked products head, the Swiss house distinguished itself by diversifying across portfolios and avoiding concentration in hedge funds. The fund-linked business features 100 employees across seven locations worldwide, and claims to have executed almost USD40 billion in notional value of transactions over the last decade, growing at around 50-60% a year. Its risk limits were also recently increased, enabled it to take on bigger deals. One client noted the firm's commitments never wavered despite the run of bad news that caused other banks to cancel deals. Another compared the house to a Swiss watch, noting its timeliness and reliability. Titan Advisors, which has USD4 billion in assets under management, said, "Credit Suisse is a terrific partner," citing the firm's innovation principal protected note, which allowed banking institutions to invest in one of Titan's funds. "The speed at which CS moved and the terms we obtained in the middle of the credit crunch were much appreciated," said Darren Ross, chief compliance officer at Titan.
Overall, Credit Suisse stood out from the competition because of its creativity and punctuality in execution, solutions-oriented approach and unflinching professionalism in a highly volatile year. "They have particularly impressed me this year," said Dana Erwin, managing director in structured products and advisory for Gottex Fund Management, a USD16 billion fund of funds and alternatives advisory enterprise. "I have seen numerous shops terminate transactions, renege on agreed upon terms and procedures and in many instances back away from sound transactions for irrational reasons. During the most difficult of times, when headlines have abounded almost every day, CS has stood by their commitments and in fact increased those commitments to us and other established funds."
* Barclays Capital * Lehman Brothers * Deutsche Bank * Nomura Securities