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Credit Suisse is a Swiss bank that was founded 150 years ago in Zurich, Switzerland, and initially started as a lending and private banking business. Its headquarters are based in Zurich but investment banking businesses are effectively run from the major financial centers in London, New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong.
The bank divides itself in three global divisions: private banking, investment banking and asset management. In Europe, the investment banking division is effectively run from its Canary Wharf offices in London. The investment banking division is further split into “investment banking” (equity and debt underwriting, and M&A advisory), “global securities” (fixed income, equities, arbitrage, etc.) and “research”. The bank has offices is more than 50 countries with a strong presence in USA and Asia.
Credit Suisse is a part of the “bulge bracket” of investment banks. The firm was praised during the financial crisis for its prudent risk management and for not requiring any government support. In 2009, Credit Suisse was recognized as “Bank of the Year” by the International Financing Review and “Best Global Bank 2010” by Euromoney. Credit Suisse went through numerous mergers that made the bank grow outside its historical private banking roots. In 1988, it acquired First Boston Corporation, which was at the time one of the most prestigious investment bank in the USA, consistently ranked at the top of M&A league tables and led by Wall Street legends Bruce Wasserstein and Joe Perella. Importantly, in 2000, Credit Suisse acquired another leading US investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette (“DLJ” ) for $13bn, which had a strong dominance in high-yield fixed income securities (i.e. financial instruments that are held by institutions rated with low credit ratings)
Features and Rankings
> Credit Suisse has a particular strength and historical roots in private banking and wealth management (similarly to the other Swiss Bank, UBS), and it is the world’s largest private banking organisation.
> Credit Suisse is a true global investment bank with a good brand name widely recognised, with equally strong positions in Europe, but also in the US and also Asia
> Very open culture compared to many other US Bulge Brackets. The bank treats top performers well and allow product and geographical rotations
> Good and varied dealflow (M&A, IPOs, large cap and mid cap deals) and most teams are quite busy, which provides good exposure to build a strong “deal sheet”
> Credit Suisse and is also one of the best leverage finance bank on Wall Street and in the City, due to its historical strength in high yield from its acquisition of DLJ.
> Very strong in ECM (IPOs) and DCM (debt products), so you will be able to get a diverse exposure of many banking products
Global M&A: #3
European M&A: #3
US M&A: #4
Asia-Pacific M&A: #3
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