Credit Suisse can proudly lay claim to the title of Structured Products House of the Year, as selected by its clients. Driving the Swiss bank’s success are a number of decisive factors which have enabled it to adapt to changes in the market place, including a solid financial foundation, a cutting edge front- to-back infrastructure, and a team whose competence in structured products is industry-revered.
“Three years ago, we decided to invest in our front to back end infrastructure and created “Spirit Asia”- a proprietary trading execution platform for flow structured products,” explains Patricia Lau. “This platform offers cash-like trading functionalities for eight to nine typical products in major markets at competitive prices. Now relationship managers at private banks don’t need to involve us in closing trades. They can get pricing any time directly from the system and can use the tool easily to book the trades.” To be sure, Lau can feel justified in her pride. Since its launch in 2010, “Spirit Asia” has executed US$5 billion of notional trading in structured products and accrued over 600 active users.
On the non-flow equity side, private banks clearly value Credit Suisse for its prescient ideas, bespoke products, and its flexibility in accommodating clients who prefer simple customisation over “blue sky innovation”. For larger trades that are performing poorly, Lau and her team make a point of sitting down with clients to provide restructuring ideas based on the client’s requirements, using simple strategies, such as adding protection, increasing the tenor, and implementing a knock-out barrier. “Clients appreciate our inputs and we are happy that their objectives are met,” adds Lau.
Credit Suisse’s interest rate structured product offerings also ranked favourably with clients, with private banks citing its product platform, pricing, and clear-cut approach to client interaction as specific points of excellence. “We have to cope with an increasingly risk-averse investor base within the context of historically low yields, but by emphasizing simplicity and transparency, we have continued to help clients get access to the products, solutions and services they are looking for,” says Savady Yem.
This client-focused approach has further shone through in the Credit-linked Structured Products category, where Bikram Chaudhury’s determination to understand his clients’ needs and to turn around effective, bespoke products in good time has won Credit Suisse the title of the year’s Best Provider of Credit-linked Structured Products – a significant achievement in this crowded market space. And so, going forward, the Credit Suisse team intends to build on its well-proven formula, and to further fine tune its structured product offering to accommodate the evolving needs of its clients. It is clear, therefore, that the future remains bright for the industry-chosen Structured Products House of the Year for 2012.