Do you want to join Credit Suisse’s 7,270-strong workforce in APAC? Are you wondering which of its businesses are performing well in the region?
The Swiss bank’s first quarter financial results provide some insights into where its best front-office jobs are. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Private banking is the dominant business in APAC
If you want to work within the dominant Credit Suisse business in Asia Pacific, apply to its private bank. The Swiss firm has two units in APAC: ‘markets’, and the snappily named ‘wealth management and connected’ (WM&C). Markets (i.e. fixed income and equity sales and trading) earned net revenues of CHF328m in the first quarter. WM&C is divided into two sub-units, the first of which, ‘advisory, underwriting and financing’ (i.e. mainly investment banking) registered Q1 revenues of CHF208m. Private banking, the second part of WM&C, easily topped both these figures, with revenues of CHF455m.
2. There’s joy in the fixed income team
Markets revenues in APAC were up 12% year on year and 27% quarter on quarter. This helped the unit to make a pre-tax income of CHF29m in Q1, following several quarters of losses. Fixed income led the markets comeback. FI sales and trading revenues soared 47% in APAC year on year, “mainly driven by higher structured products revenues and higher foreign exchange products revenues”.
3. And finally some relief in equities
There will be relief now within the equities team at CS in APAC, which suffered job losses last year as revenues slumped. In Q1 2018, equity sales and trading revenues increased 4% year on year, “reflecting higher revenues from prime services and cash equities, primarily from increased client activity”.
4. Private banking is hiring (but not much)
Following a rampant period of hiring in 2016, Credit Suisse cooled its recruitment of relationship managers in 2017 and weeded out underperformers. Its Asian RM headcount has decrease from 620 to 600 year-on-year as a result. But the firm did boost its workforce by 10 during the first quarter (traditionally a busy time for private banking hiring), after its RM numbers fell to 590 in Q4 last year. Swiss rival UBS, however, took on a staggering 40 Asian RMs in the first three months of this year to reach a total of 1,077 and cement its position – one place ahead of CS – as the largest front-office employer in the wealth sector regionally.
5. Private bankers are getting more productive
Unlike many of its rivals, Credit Suisse may not be on a hiring spree, but its current private bankers are becoming more productive. The average RM at Credit Suisse in APAC managed CHF332m in Q1 this year, compared with CHF286m in Q1 2016 – a 15% increase. Private banking also registered its highest quarterly revenues to date, up by 11% year on year, with “increases in both transaction-based revenues and recurring commissions and fees”.
6. ECM is a rising star
Advisory, underwriting and financing revenues within Credit Suisse’s WM&C business rose 17% year on year. The bank attributed this to “stronger client activity”, “especially in M&A and equity underwriting”. Dealogic ranks CS in sixth position for Asia (ex-Japan) ECM revenue by bank for Q1 2018, up 43 places year on year.
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