Credit Suisse set to hire former BofA investment banker Meissner

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Credit Suisse Group is set to hire Christian Meissner, Bank of America’s former investment bank head, as it seeks to link up its richest customers with deals sourced by its securities unit.

Meissner will co-head a newly created group connecting the bank’s wealthiest clients with the services offered by the investment bank, according to people familiar with the matter. He will relocate to Europe from the U.S. and report to the heads of Credit Suisse’s investment bank as well as the international wealth management business, the people said, asking not to be identified because no official announcement has been made.

A Credit Suisse spokesman declined to comment, as did Meissner.

Credit Suisse is overhauling various business units under new Chief Executive Thomas Gottstein, who is simplifying the bank’s complicated structure and partially rolling back initiatives taken under his predecessor Tidjane Thiam and former wealth management head Iqbal Khan. He’s combining investment banking with trading in a business to be renamed global investment bank, while reducing the number of regions in the key wealth management business and working to do more with ultra rich strategic clients.

As part of that plan, Meissner and Babak Dastmaltschi will run the investment banking advisory group that will do mergers and capital markets deals with customers of the international wealth business.

Meissner will also become vice chairman of the investment bank reporting into Brian Chin, a role in which he will originate deals globally, the person said.

Meissner was in talks last year about joining UBS Group in a senior role that would have positioned him as potential successor to outgoing Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti, but those discussions fell apart. He was elected to the board of directors of Julius Baer Group in May but has resigned from that role with immediate effect, Baer said late Tuesday.

Meissner left Bank of America in 2018 amid a fierce debate internal debate as the firm’s most senior leadership reassessed and reined in exposure to some deals. Born in Austria and educated at Princeton University, he spent his early career at Goldman Sachs Group, where he climbed the ranks of its equity capital markets business.

Lehman Brothers Holdings lured him away in 2003, where he helped oversee investment banking operations in Germany and eventually the broader region, including Europe and the Middle East. But his rise was derailed when the firm, dragged down by the U.S. housing market, collapsed in September of 2008 and set off a global financial crisis.

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