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Asian private equity lures Credit Suisse

Bank hires entire team of Ritchie Capital Management in Hong Kong.

Harjit Bhatia, Credit Suisse

"Our game plan is to make this a much bigger play, since the opportunity is very large. We’ll do some third-party fund-raising later. That’s the Credit Suisse model: seed, leverage the network and then raise third-party capital"   Harjit Bhatia, Credit Suisse

The move by many investment banks into private equity investment in Asia, although profitable, has also raised vexing issues about conflicts of interest. Critics have accused banks of competing with their own clients and of using the promise of pre-IPO investment to secure lucrative mandates from clients. Credit Suisse is one firm that has earned plaudits in the past for the way it has muscled its way onto key IPO syndicate positions with no meaningful private equity presence in the region.This is why the firm’s decision to expand its Asian private equity business now seems puzzling at first glance. In April, the firm announced that it had hired the entire six-man private equity team of Ritchie Capital Management (HK), headed by Harjit Bhatia, a 35-year industry veteran of Asia and formerly president and CEO of GE Corporate Financial Services in Asia Pacific.

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