Credit Suisse: Wikis


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Credit Suisse Group AG
Founded 1856
Founder(s) Alfred Escher
Headquarters Zürich, Switzerland
Key people Brady Dougan (CEO), Hans-Ulrich Doerig (Chairman of the board)
Industry Financial services
Products Investment and private banking, asset management
Revenue CHF 9.268 billion (2008)[1]
Profit (CHF 8.22 billion) (2008)[1]
Total assets CHF 1.17 trillion (2008)[1]
Employees 47,800 (2008)[1]

The Credit Suisse Group (SIXCSGN, NYSECS) is a financial services company, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland.

Credit Suisse was founded by Alfred Escher in 1856 under the name Schweizerische Kreditanstalt (SKA, Swiss Credit Institution). The bank is organized into three divisions, Investment Banking, Private Banking, and Asset Management. Shared Services, which includes functions such as IT, marketing and legal/compliance, encompasses all three major areas. Credit Suisse is considered to be within the prestigious "bulge bracket" of investment banks.

In 1942, it opened its first branch outside of Switzerland, in New York City. In 1988, it gained a controlling stake in The First Boston Corporation, hence the long-time name of its investment banking unit Credit Suisse First Boston. In 1993, Credit Suisse Group bought Schweizerische Volksbank (People's Bank of Switzerland). In 1996 the two retail banks were merged and renamed Credit Suisse. In 2000, it acquired the investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) and, with it, an e-commerce software portfolio, including DLJ Direct, that it later sold to the Bank of Montreal.



The Credit Suisse Group is structured in three divisions, Investment Banking, Private Banking and Asset Management . On January 16, 2006, Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB), now the Investment Banking division, Credit Suisse Asset Management (CSAM), and Credit Suisse Private Banking (CSPB), re-branded themselves, becoming collectively known as Credit Suisse. This move was initiated to better leverage each others' resources and capabilities to create a "One Bank" brand and effort.


Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse headquarters in Zürich.
Credit Suisse Building in London

The Credit Suisse business unit is a provider of wide-ranging financial services in Europe and other selected markets. It offers investment products, private banking and financial advisory services for private and corporate clients. Credit Suisse was founded by Alfred Escher.

  • Private Banking - Credit Suisse is one of the world’s largest private banking organizations with branches in Switzerland and numerous international markets. Private Banking specializes in providing personal investment counseling and professional asset management to affluent individuals.
  • Corporate & Retail Banking - In Corporate & Retail Banking, Credit Suisse occupies a leading position in the Swiss market. It provides a wide range of banking services for private and corporate clients in Switzerland. In addition, it offers online banking services.
  • Financial Institutions - Advice and solutions for banks and financial institutions all around the world.

Credit Suisse, Investment Banking Division

This division used to be known as Credit Suisse First Boston. It is active in investment banking, capital markets and financial services. It is a member of the prestigious bulge bracket of securities firms.

Credit Suisse Private Banking Division

Within the Private Banking sector Credit Suisse provides advice and investment products and services for high-net-worth individuals globally. Credit Suisse’s structured advisory process encompasses both asset and liability management. Furthermore, Credit Suisse is a provider of alternative investment products. Wealth management solutions include tax planning; pension planning; life insurance solutions; wealth and inheritance advice, trusts and foundations. Credit Suisse offers multiple booking platforms and global execution capabilities. In Switzerland, Credit Suisse supplies banking products and services to private banking clients as well as to business and retail clients.

Until 2006 this division was known as Credit Suisse Private Banking or CSPB.

Asset Management

In its asset management business, Credit Suisse offers investments ranging from equities, fixed income and multiple-asset class products, to alternative investments such as real estate, hedge funds, private equity and volatility management. Credit Suisse’s asset management business manages portfolios, mutual funds, and other investment vehicles for a broad spectrum of clients ranging from governments, institutions and corporations to private individuals. With offices in 18 countries, Credit Suisse’s asset management business is operated as a globally integrated network. Credit Suisse uses the Credit Risk+ method under their financial products arm, to estimate the distribution and expected loss incurred by companies. They also help banks to calculate their capital reserves needed to buffer againist credit/default risk.

Shared Services

In Shared Services, Credit Suisse provides services to support the divisions, while improving independent controls. The Shared Services divisions include CFO, COO, CRO, General Counsel, and IT division.

Winterthur was divested from Credit Suisse on June 14, 2006. AXA acquired the leading Swiss insurance company from Credit Suisse Group for about €8 billion. [2]

The CIO of Credit Suisse is Karl Landert, located in Zurich, Switzerland


Historical Credit Suisse logo used from the 1980s and for certain divisions through the rebranding in 2006
Historical Credit Suisse First Boston logo used in the 1990s through the rebranding in 2006
  • 1856 - Credit Suisse founded
  • 1905 - First branch (in Basel)
  • 1940 - First branch outside Switzerland (in New York)
  • 1978 - Start of co-operation with The First Boston Corporation
  • 1988 - Controlling stake in The First Boston Corporation, which is renamed CS First Boston
  • 1989 - CS Holding became parent company of the Group
  • 1990 - Acquisition of Bank Leu
  • 1993 - Acquisition of Swiss Volksbank
  • 1994 - Strategic alliance with Swiss Re
  • 1995 - Strategic alliance with Winterthur Group
  • 1996 - CS Holding becomes Credit Suisse Group; investment banking business named Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB)
  • 1997 - Merger with Winterthur Group
  • 2000 - Acquisition of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ)
  • 2001 - Sponsorship for the Sauber Petronas Team (now BMW Sauber F1 Team)
  • 2002 - Streamlining of the Group's organizational structure into two business units: Credit Suisse Financial Services and Credit Suisse First Boston
  • 2004 - Focusing the Group's organizational structure on three business units:Credit Suisse, Credit Suisse First Boston and Winterthur
  • 2006 - Credit Suisse undergoes a rebranding and structural shift to the "One Bank" model. It divests Winterthur to AXA and the newly reorganized Investment Bank replaces the old CSFB. The First Boston affiliation is retired.
  • 2008 - Credit Suisse suspends some of its traders in connection with the overvaluation of assets by $2.85 billion.Credit Suisse writes down $2.85B

Mergers & Acquisitions

CSFB USA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Credit Suisse First Boston Inc., which is, in turn, a wholly owned subsidiary of CS. CS is a wholly owned subsidiary of CSG. CSFB USA was created through the merger with DLJ, which was completed on Nov. 3, 2000. CSFB LLC, CSFB's principal U.S. registered broker-dealer subsidiary, became a subsidiary of DLJ, and DLJ changed its name to CSFB USA.

Prior to the DLJ Merger, the Credit Suisse Group (CS) purchased First Boston in 1988 creating CS First Boston. The firm's bulge bracket status came after the merger with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ).[3]


  • In 2007, Credit Suisse was criticised for coordinating the listing of the Malaysian logging corporation Samling at the Hong Kong stock exchange. Environmentalists accuse Samling of rainforest destruction and illegal logging. Credit Suisse maintains that Samling was critically assessed prior to its initial public offering by experts from the banks that participated in the listing and by an independent agency. The conclusion was that the company meets all relevant national and international standards on sustainable forestry.[4][5][6]
  • In an article published by Reuters on February 23, 2008, Brazilian public prosecutor Karen Kahn announced that several employees of Credit Suisse as well as others from UBS, Clariden Leu and AIG were under investigation by federal authorities.[7] In 2007, police arrested 20 people, including bankers at UBS, Credit Suisse unit Clariden and AIG Private Bank after the discovery of illegal activities including money laundering, tax evasion, fraudulent banking and operating without a banking license.[8] During the course of Operation Switzerland in 2008, Christian Peter Weiss and 13 other employees of Credit Suisse were arrested in Rio de Janeiro for helping operate an illegal money transfer scheme.
  • The New York Times reported on December 16, 2009, that Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morganthau, the Justice Department and Federal Reserve had reached an agreement with Credit Suisse in which Credit Suisse was fined $536 million. Credit Suisse settled on charges that it violated sanctions regulating financial transactions with Iran. The charges included "stripping", the practice of removing the identity and origin of funds used in transactions. Credit Suisse employees stripped the identities of Iranian banks enabling funds to be transferred to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and the Aerospace Industries Organization, entities respectively involved in the production of nuclear weapons and long range missiles. Credit Suisse advised Iranian banks such as Bank Melli and Bank Saderat on methods to hide their identities and send more than a billion dollars through New York banks.

Quick facts

  • Frank Quattrone was poached from Deutsche Bank and helped CS jump to the top of the tech and Internet advisory league tables in the late '90s. He was later caught up in a lawsuit regarding the illegal deletion of data relating to Mergers and Acquisitions deals and was subsequently sacked by the firm. Quattrone was finally cleared in 2006 after reaching a deal with prosecutors when his planned retrial ultimately collapsed.[citation needed]
  • CS was ranked #2 in the total volume of high-yield bond issuance and #1 in high-yield transactions in 2004 (mainly with the high-yield team acquired through the DLJ merger), it also held the #3 position in global IPO underwriting in 2004.[citation needed]
  • CS was awarded the Best Foreign Investment Bank in Indonesia in 2005.[citation needed]
  • Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) and Morgan Stanley were principal underwriters of the 2004 Google IPO.[9]
  • First Boston along with Salomon Brothers were the original creators of the collateralized mortgage obligation, invented in June 1983. Along with junk bonds, the CMO is considered one of the most important financial innovations of the 1980s. These securities, more widely known as mortgage-backed securities, were the main catalyst for the credit crisis starting in 2007 when the fundamentals of the underlying mortgages began to weaken.[citation needed]
  • The firm's High Yield/Distress Trading Desk is consistently ranked the best group on Wall Street for both bonds and bank debt. The Leverage Finance division's strength originates from the acquisition of DLJ[citation needed]
  • Austin Healey the former English rugby union footballer, who played as a utility back for Leicester Tigers, and has represented England and the British Lions now works for Credit Suisse.[citation needed]
  • Sir John Major the former British Prime Minister acts as an advisor to the firm[citation needed]
  • Following the merger with DLJ, CSFB led the M&A League tables in number of deals from 2000-2002.[10] As of Q3 2007, Credit Suisse ranks 6th in worldwide completed M&A by imputed fees, 7th for worldwide announced M&A by rank value and 6th in worldwide completed M&A by rank value for the year 2007. In the U.S., CS ranks 4th in completed M&A by imputed fees, 7th for announced M&A by rank value and 7th in completed M&A by rank value for the year 2007.[11]
  • Credit Suisse was recognized as the "Global Investment Bank of the Year" in The Banker magazine's annual Global Investment Banking Awards published in the October 2007 edition[12]. Credit Suisse also won three prestigious house awards, including Best Leveraged Finance House[13], Best High Yield Bond House[14] and Best Convertibles House[15].

See also

Main competitors

Notes and references

External links

Company data


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