Investment banking: Credit Suisse management changes put focus on emerging markets

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By:
Clive Horwood
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Varvel becomes CEO as Calello steps up to chairman; Kyriakos-Saad and Quintella get bigger regional roles.

Credit Suisse showed how emerging markets will lie at the heart of its growth strategy over the coming years as it reshuffled the management pack in its investment banking division.

Credit Suisse has been particularly successful across the main emerging markets in recent years. It tops the fee league tables for emerging market M&A and equity capital markets, and also has a top-tier debt franchise. Credit Suisse insiders say that between 25% and 30% of its revenues each quarter come from the emerging markets. For most other global firms, that figure would be closer to 10% to 15%.

Paul Calello, who oversaw Credit Suisse’s transition into a client-focused, capital efficient investment bank during the financial crisis, steps up to become chairman of the business. In this role he will be able to focus on client relationships, keep a strategic overview of the business and engage with regulators, particularly in the US, where he has maintained strong relationships since his days working for the Federal Reserve Board.

Eric Varvel, who has been acting CEO of the investment bank since last summer, when Calello was taken ill, now takes on the role full time. Varvel is an emerging markets specialist: he spent 15 years in Asia, where he was head of investment banking for Asia as well as responsible for setting up Credit Suisse’s leading banking and markets business in Indonesia, before relocating to London to be CEO of EMEA in 2008. Varvel has particularly strong relationships in the Middle East, including in Qatar, where the Qatar Investment Authority took part in Credit Suisse’s capital injection at the height of the crisis in 2008. Varvel will now be based in New York.

Inter-regional meetings

One of Varvel’s initiatives since taking on CEO duties was to set up a Global Emerging Markets Council, which regularly brings together the CEOs of the main emerging market countries and regions with product heads. The bank says that this initiative is key to winning the increasing volume of emerging market to emerging market business.

The two co-heads of that council have now seen their roles expanded to incorporate the broader region in which they are based.

Fawzi Kyriakos-Saad, previously CEO of Russia, the CIS and Turkey, now takes on Varvel’s former role as head of the whole EMEA region. He joined Credit Suisse in 2006, having previously been a leading emerging market banker at JPMorgan. Kyriakos-Saad has built a strong business in Russia.

Antonio Quintella becomes chief executive for the Americas

Antonio Quintella becomes chief executive for the Americas
Antonio Quintella becomes chief executive for the Americas. He joined Credit Suisse in 1997 from ING Barings, and most recently was CEO of Brazil, where he has overseen the pre-eminent equities franchise over the past five years and was responsible for acquiring asset management and private banking firm Hedging-Griffo.


Both Quintella and Kyriakos-Saad join the bank’s executive board. Brady Dougan, group chief executive, says: "Both Antonio and Fawzi are proven business leaders. Our regional CEOs will continue to provide essential leadership as we further develop our businesses in our key growth markets."

Quintella takes on the Americas role from Rob Shafir, who will now focus on his position as chief executive of Credit Suisse’s asset management division. He joined Credit Suisse in August 2007 from Lehman Brothers.

Asset management contributed just 5% of Credit Suisse’s group earnings in 2009, and is a business that Dougan wants to grow. "We’d like to see asset management as a bigger part of earnings. It’s an important business, with very high earnings multiples, which we need to be really consistent in over a period of time. We need to build some platforms, such as in the alternative space. We’re taking the right steps and moving forward," says Dougan.