Pedestrians walk by a sign outside a Credit Suisse Group AG office building in Bern, Switzerland. (Photographer: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg)

Credit Suisse Is Said to Cut Senior Investment-Banking Jobs

(Bloomberg) -- Credit Suisse Group AG has been cutting senior investment-banking jobs as the Swiss bank reorganizes its European advisory business to boost profitability, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

Since February, the bank has let go about 26 directors and managing directors with responsibility for mergers and acquisitions and industry coverage, the people said, asking not to be identified as the decisions aren’t public. The cuts have mostly been focused on London, the people said.

The investment bank was reorganized last year when Mathew Cestar and Jens Welter became co-heads of the advisory and origination business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. They replaced Marisa Drew, who was given a new role overseeing sustainable finance, and Mark Echlin, who became chairman of the investment bank in the U.K. The cuts are an attempt to boost efficiency and put pressure on dealmakers to bring in new business, one person said.

“We expect our headcount to increase year-on-year in IBCM EMEA as we continue to invest,” the bank said in a statement. “The departures year-to-date have been for a number of reasons, including voluntary.”

Credit Suisse has two investment-banking units -- global markets, which focuses on trading, and IBCM, which advises on deals and security issuance. Global Markets has been the focal point of the bank’s restructuring in recent years.

Reducing Trading

Credit Suisse has scaled back trading to focus on wealth management under Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam. The Swiss lender separated its corporate advisory business in 2015 from volatile trading operations. The advisory unit, renamed investment banking and capital markets, helps clients with mergers and offerings of stocks and bonds and is led by Jim Amine.

The unit’s pretax income fell 60 percent in the first quarter to 59 million francs, partly due to lower advisory fees and debt underwriting, according to Credit Suisse filings.

Credit Suisse is ranked 11th in advising on mergers globally this year, compared with 9th in 2017, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The bank ranked sixth in advising on global equity offerings this year, compared with seventh last year.

While Credit Suisse has cut thousands of jobs in its Global Markets unit since the restructuring started in 2015, it has cut fewer at the smaller investment bank and advisory unit. Thiam has even earmarked more capital for the business over time.

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