C Suisse chief's Asia strategy brings costs and risks

Tidjane Thiam

Tidjane Thiam has famously described Asia as a pie that’s growing faster than you can eat it. But grabbing a bigger slice is costly and carries risks, raising doubts the head of Credit Suisse will meet ambitious goals for the region.

'Asia is probably the most expensive region in the world to conduct wealth-management services', said Sebastian Dovey, founder of Scorpio Partnership, a London-based consulting firm. 'If they’re pinning their strategy on that part of the world, they’ll feel a squeeze on their margins'.

Bloomberg News reports that Thiam, who took over as chief executive officer in July, is seeking to double the amount Credit Suisse oversees for Asia’s rich by the end of 2018 after the bank boosted pretax profit from all businesses in the region to $902m last year. Pursuing those objectives will probably require a costly hiring spree, acquisitions, or both, according to industry analysts interviewed by Bloomberg.

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Thiam's Grab for Bigger Slice of Asia Pie Brings Costs, Risks

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