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Ray Soudah, Chief financial officer and chief investment officer, Cedel Bank

"Cedel Bank to consider going public." That was the rumour during the second week of January. Wouldn't every important lead manager vie for this IPO mandate? However, the likelihood of Cedel Bank going public is about the same as that of Euroclear, operated by JP Morgan for almost 30 years?

Who better to ask to quosh the rumour than Ray Soudah, Cedel Bank's urbane chief financial and investment officer. Soudah has been a key member of chief executive Andre Lussi's "stage-two" management team, which has been responsible for orchestrating Cedel's remarkable renaissance. When Lussi arrived in 1989 Cedel was threatening to disappear completely. By 1994, when Soudah came from Citibank, Cedel was off the operating table and posing a genuine challenge to Euroclear for the first time in its history.

Soudah was recommended to Cedel by former chairman Hans Angermueller ­ like Soudah, a Citicorp veteran. Soudah saw a unique challenge that would regenerate the Cedel Group, its strategy, markets systems and its product range. Through good house-keeping more cash could be channelled into strategic investments, and a better balance achieved between revenues and expenses. Then there was the problem of the group structure.

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