Bloomberg News

Credit Suisse Plans to Sell Two Private-Equity Businesses

July 18, 2012

Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN), Switzerland’s second-biggest bank, plans to sell two private- equity units within its asset-management division in a shift toward more liquid investments.

The lender, based in Zurich, will sell the Customized Fund Investment Group and the Strategic Partners secondary fund business, Credit Suisse spokeswoman Suzanne Fleming said today. The U.S.-based divisions have raised a combined $36 billion in their history.

Credit Suisse told investors it’s exiting the businesses in part because of uncertainty around the “Volcker Rule,” which limits banks’ total investments in hedge funds and private- equity funds to prevent them from taking on too much risk. The lender succumbed to pressure today to boost capital by 15.3 billion Swiss francs ($15.6 billion) amid the worsening European sovereign-debt crisis.

Credit Suisse said the units for sale have “limited synergies” with its other asset-management units, which are more capital efficient and less likely to run afoul of overhauled financial regulations.

The Customized Fund group, headed by Kelly Williams, works with clients such as endowments and wealthy families to invest in a range of private-equity funds, according to the bank’s website. The business has raised about $25 billion.

Strategic Partners, run by Stephen Can, manages so-called secondary funds, which buy stakes in private-equity funds from other investors. That group has pooled about $11 billion since its creation in 2000. Can finished raising the fifth fund, totaling $2.9 billion, this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jason Kelly in New York at jkelly14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeffrey McCracken at jmccracken3@bloomberg.net; Christian Baumgaertel at cbaumgaertel@bloomberg.net


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