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Christian Deiss: the only hope for Credit Suisse's APAC bankers

UBS’ consumption of Credit Suisse was bound to lead to cuts – not least because UBS itself announced a plan to cut half of Credit Suisse’s people globally in June.  However, now that those cuts are underway it seems that Asia is suffering most of all.

Reuters reported today that 80% of Credit Suisse’s 100-strong investment banking team in Hong Kong is due to be put on the chopping block, leaving just 20 Credit Suisse invesment bankers remaining at the combined entity.

The axman – more properly known as the person “leading the regional investment banking transition in collaboration with UBS,” is understood to be Christian Deiss. If you want to be in that 20% of survivors, he is the man to know.

Deiss is a Credit Suisse veteran of 25 years. He’s travelled around the world for the bank, across three continents and four cities. He started his career in London, and bounced between it, New York, and San Francisco until 2011, when he left for Hong Kong (where he’s been based ever since).

Having joined the bank through its M&A team, Deiss was made an MD in 2011 and took on management roles in Hong Kong, including head of M&A in the region (in 2021). He was made co-head of investment banking and capital markets (IBCM) in APAC in only July 2023, so is new to the role in which he will chop most of his colleagues. It's not clear whether his co-head - Kuan Ern Tan - is staying or going.

Reuters says that after Deiss wields his knife, most of Credit Suisse's investment banking teams will be down to just one or two people, although some entire coverage teams will be let go. M&A teams are most likely to be retained - a team that Deiss knows intimately. 

It’s still not clear, however, what UBS intends to do with Credit Suisse’s investment banking presence in other Asia destinations such as China, Singapore, and India. When the acquisition was originally announced in March, the implication was that Asian jobs might be safer than the rest. In investment banking, at least, that doesn't seem the case. 

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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