Credit Suisse vs Jefferies: the Fight Over Investment Bankers

Credit Suisse, New York

Credit Suisse, New York

Credit Suisse is slugging it out with Jefferies over a team of investment bankers. The problem arose because of the change in strategy of Switzerland's No. 2 bank.

Five investment bankers at Credit Suisse (CS) took their boss, CEO Tidjane Thiam by his word, resigned and joined U.S.-rival Jefferies. Thiam had indicated that the bank would focus more on wealth management to rely less on the investment bank.

Steve West, Bill Brady, John Metz, Cameron Lester and Cully Davis are not run of the mill: the five managing directors were members of the media and telecom team at the investment bank of CS and advised on the mega-IPO of Alibaba.

Pipeline Info Stolen?

CS now is claiming that the bankers took confidential information from its deal pipeline along to their new employer, «Reuters» reported.

And what's more: Jefferies was continuing its aggressive attempts to hire further CS investment bankers. The case has been referred to the New York State Supreme Court.

Lawyer Lingo

The conflict arose because of the strategy change under CS CEO Thiam. The lawyers of the five bankers argue that they were left with no option but to leave CS as quickly as possible to secure their future as CS intended to reduce the investment banking business.

Thiam of course never said that CS would pull out of investment banking advise.

Allegations Rejected

The Swiss bank demands the court to block the former CS bankers from using stolen material at Jefferies. The U.S. investment bank rejects the allegations.

According to the documentation provided by the court, CS has attempted to retain its investment bankers. The Swiss institute paid some of its managing directors a reward for staying at the bank, in addition to their salary and bonus. The bank's efforts seem to have been in vain.

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