However, Thiam is also walking the walk. Take a look at the appointment of the global coordinators on Credit Suisse’s forthcoming SFr6 billion rights issue. The three lead banks are Citi, HSBC and SocGén. With all due respect to those three firms, they hardly represent the cream of the crop in global equity capital markets (ECM).
Now consider the banks above Citi. UBS is in fourth place. As Credit Suisse’s great local rival, it was hardly ever going to be in with a shout for a slot on the capital raise.
It all seems a bit pointed, doesn’t it?
Senior investment banker
And the banks ranked from first to third place? You guessed it – the big US banks: in order on this year’s league tables Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan. Bank of America Merrill Lynch fills out the top five places.
So four of the five strongest global ECM houses, all based in the US, are not on the ticket. That’s right, they’re not even in the lower echelons of the syndicate. Euromoney understands that at least two of these firms, and probably all four, weren’t even invited to pitch for the mandate.
As a senior investment banker at one of the firms told Euromoney: “It all seems a bit pointed, doesn’t it?”
And it does seem that Thiam is making a point. There’s no doubt that the lead banks chosen will successfully place the discounted rights issue, despite the market now looking to consume a competing offer from Standard Chartered – lead managers chosen by former US investment banker and now StanChart CEO Bill Winters: JPMorgan Cazenove and BAML, natch.
However, is Thiam’s snub the start of a European fightback? Some investment bankers are perhaps reading too much into it, but one told us: “This tells you Credit Suisse still sees itself as a top investment bank, and a big player in the ECM space, including in the US.
“But it also tells you that they’re not so serious about global wealth management. If they were, surely they’d want a close relationship with the big US banks that can offer so much product and distribution?”
Credit Suisse lies eighth in the global ECM league tables, according to Dealogic.