Credit Suisse Starts Probe of Collapsed Funds, Suspends Managers
(Bloomberg) -- Credit Suisse Group AG started an internal probe into the collapse of a $10 billion group of supply chain finance funds and temporarily replaced three employees in its asset management unit who were tied to the strategy.
The Swiss lender has reached out to external firms to deal with regulators’ queries surrounding the collapse of the funds, which it ran with Australian financier Lex Greensill, people familiar with the matter said, asking for anonymity in discussing internal information.
Michel Degen, head of asset management in Switzerland and EMEA, is being replaced in the interim by Filippo Rima, according to one person. Luc Mathys, head of fixed income in the unit, and another manager who ran the funds were also suspended from their roles, the person said.
A spokesperson for Credit Suisse declined to comment. The personnel changes were reported earlier by Finews.com.
Credit Suisse froze the funds last week after doubts emerged about the valuations of some of the assets, kicking off a chain of events that culminated in the collapse of Greensill Capital. The bank is now liquidating the strategy, a group of short-term debt funds for which Greensill had provided the assets and which had been held up as a success story as recently as December. The money pools are returning most of their cash and equivalents, though about two-thirds of investor money remains tied up.
Credit Suisse pulled the plug on the funds in part because a major insurer for the securities in the funds refused to provide coverage on new notes. The decision sent ripple effects across the globe and prompted Greensill Capital to seek a buyer for its operations.
Many of the assets in the funds have insurance protection to make them more appealing for investors seeking alternatives to money markets. But the second-biggest of them, the High Income Fund, doesn’t use insurance. It’s also the fund with the least liquidity, with less than 20% of the net assets in cash.
The Swiss bank has scheduled the first payments to investors -- amounting to approximately 80% of the available cash and cash equivalents -- for this week.
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