October 29, 2012

Credit Suisse’s Equities Chief to Leave Stocks, Join Hedge Fund Unit

O’Hara, co-head of global securities, will take over equities as Jain heads to New York

Credit Suisse headquarters in Zurich. (Photo: AP) Credit Suisse headquarters in Zurich. (Photo: AP)

Bob Jain, head of equities at Credit Suisse Group AG, will be heading to New York to helm in-house hedge funds, say sources, and Timothy O’Hara will take his place.

Bloomberg reported Monday that Jain is said to be stepping down from running the equities business after almost four years, and heading to New York, where he will preside over in-house hedge funds in the money-management division. Jain formerly headed the bank’s proprietary trading business—an activity forbidden to U.S. banks by the Volcker Rule as part of the Dodd-Frank Act.

O’Hara, a former head of the Americas fixed-income department, will step in, but will retain the title of co-head of global securities, which he received in July 2011 with Jain and London-based Gael de Boissard, the latter of whom heads the fixed income business.

The bank’s equities business revenues, including stock trading, could fall for the third year in a row in the economic-crisis atmosphere of Europe that has hurt growth and driven down transaction volumes. Revenue for the first nine months ending in September totaled 3.59 billion francs ($3.8 billion); that’s down 4.5% from the same period last year.

Credit Suisse is looking for a boost from the alternatives unit, and in July said that it intended to focus more on hedge funds and other vehicles that attract client funds to liquid assets, including stocks, bonds and commodities.

In July, the bank said it intended to sell off its private equity funds as it moves toward liquid investments. At the time, it told investors it was departing the private equity business over uncertainty about the Volcker rule.

Last week it announced that its ETF business would be up for sale. Credit Suisse’s ETFs are part of its alternatives unit, and as of the end of Q3, had 16.1 billion francs of assets under management. Other client investments in the alternatives unit include real estate, commodities, credit and index-linked strategies.

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