Credit Suisse’s Former CEO Thiam to Start Blank-Check Firm

Ex-Credit Suisse Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam is planning a $250 million vehicle to invest in financial services in developed and emerging markets, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The special purpose acquisition vehicle will be listed in New York, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. JPMorgan Chase & Co. is helping with the fundraising, the person said.

Credit Suisse’s Former CEO Thiam to Start Blank-Check Firm

Special purpose acquisition vehicles, generally known as blank check companies, pool funds to finance merger and acquisition opportunities. Prominent investors, buyout shops and even celebrities have been driving the interest in SPACs, resulting in bigger IPOs and acquisitions. Michael Klein, a former Citigroup Inc. rainmaker and a Credit Suisse board member, has pursued several blank-check companies, while billionaire investor Bill Ackman scored one of the biggest ever SPAC listings in July with a $4 billion offering.

Investors including sovereign wealth funds may invest in Thiam’s company, according to the Financial Times, which reported the news earlier on Monday. A spokesman for Thiam couldn’t immediately be reached, while a JPMorgan spokeswoman declined to comment.

Thiam left Credit Suisse in February as the bank struggled to move past a spying scandal involving former top executive Iqbal Khan. Last year’s events tainted the bank’s reputation, led to Thiam’s ouster after a power struggle with the board, and rattled the usually quiet world of Swiss banking.

The 58-year-old Ivory Coast native, who was replaced by Thomas Gottstein, later joined the board of French luxury goods group Kering SA.

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