Credit Suisse: Ultra-Rich Facebook Looking for Asian Investors

Credit Suisse, rich Facebook, Temasek, Hanwha, Asian investors, Jan Oliver Koelble, Jonathon Lipton

screenshot from Clade website

Credit Suisse has switched to spending and expansion mode for its private bank: it's «entrepreneur's bank» is taking shape in the U.S. A planned social network for ultra-wealthy harbours global ambitions. 

Initial indications were that Credit Suisse would mainly target U.S. clients with its «Facebook for the super-rich» project.

Among the signs for a U.S. bias were the firm's founding in New York, its spin-off and rebranding as Clade, a target group of young and tech-savvy entrepreneurs as well as a separate plan to build an entrepreneur's bank in the U.S., as reported by

This bank for entrepreneurs is modeled after a successful push in Asia, where rich private clients are pitched specific products and capital markets services from Credit Suisse's investment bank because of their entrepreneurial background.

Virtual Country Club

The catch is that the Swiss bank doesn't actually have a wealth management unit in the U.S. anymore, so that the planned entrepreneur's bank had to be swallowed into Credit Suisse's investment bank.

Clade is another strategic Credit Suisse investment for management, which fits with the U.S. expansion of entrepreneur's bank.

According to initial information, Clade is a sort of virtual country club: a platform with various financial services for those with at least $10 million to invest, only accessible through an invite.

Too Sluggish to Innovate

Besides traditional private banking services, Clade also wants to conduct auctions and offer corporate consulting and fundraising. Users can broker sales of fine art, wine, jewelry, luxury cars or yachts.

The idea was born before Tidjane Thiam joined as Chief Executive last July and is thought to be chairman Urs Rohner's «baby».

However, the bank has handed over the project to Jonathan Lipton and Jan Oliver Koelble, both Credit Suisse wealth managers. Lipton and Koelble are meant to step up the two-year-old project's development, another reason that Clade was released from the lethargic structures and processes of the bank.

Notable Investors?

Clade isn't limiting itself to the ultra-wealthy in the U.S., can reveal. The network sees opportunities as part of its global ultra-high net worth strategy especially in Asia, where wealth creation and growth is fastest and where clients are keen for digital-based bank offerings.

Clade and Credit Suisse are searching for further investors for the network, has learned, including with a Chinese family office.

Other high-profile names being bandied around Credit Suisse: Singapore's investment arm, Temasek. Hanwha, one of the largest firms in South Korea, is also among names being circulated.

Secrecy Valued

The names aren't far-fetched: Temasek and Hanwha are already involved as startup investors. The two recently took a stake in Golden Gate Ventures in Singapore, an investment firm specialized in southeast Asia. Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin is also among the firm's backers.

Credit Suisse hasn't commented on Clade, and the project's bosses in New York have also kept mum on their plans, developments or the search for investors.


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