Credit Suisse bankers who want to quit face a clawback problem

Credit Suisse’s APAC operation has become a poaching ground for rivals looking to fill gaps in their corporate finance operations.

Hong Kong-based deputy bank manager Christopher Chua Mergers and Acquisitions has resigned to join HSBCand headhunters warn that others may follow as the new announcement of the strategy on October 27.

Credit Suisse CEO Ulrich Korner is expected to reduce or close parts of the investment bank, and some staff are deciding to head out now and seize a good opportunity elsewhere rather than wait.

But senior bankers who decide to leave before the end of the year will have to repay any unmatured portion of restricted initial cash rewards (UCA), which have been paid last year to retain general managers or directors earning $250,000 or more.

We also talk about guarantees and retention premiums paid to bankers in the investment banking and capital markets division to persuade them to stay after the strategy overhaul. “These can also be recovered, so it’s better to leave now rather than stay locked up for another year,” said a headhunter in Hong Kong familiar with the plan. “There are a lot of unhappy people at Credit Suisse in Hong Kong right now.”

Credit Suisse is set to cut its investment banking business as part of a strategy overhaul that could lead to thousands of job losses. But junior bankers who have just joined the company also face a conundrum if they choose to seek other employment. “Analysts must complete their initial training program or risk losing their chance to switch to private equity,“said the headhunter. Analysts often receive offers from private equity firms within months of joining a bank on the condition that they complete two years at the bank.

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