How an Oilfield Engineer Became a Rainmaker at Credit Suisse

Helman Sitohang, CEO Asia Pacific Credit Suisse

Helman Sitohang, CEO Asia Pacific Credit Suisse

Helman Sitohang is the first Indonesian to be appointed by a high profile global institution such as Credit Suisse chief executive in control of Asia Pacific. Who is this man?

This week Hong Kong based «FinanceAsia» named Helman Sitohang as winner of its ‹Outstanding Achievement Award› for 2015, honouring his excellent stewardship and deal-making skills.

Such is the current trajectory of the Credit Suisse Asia Pacific CEO. recently met Sitohang who was working the room of media representatives with professional charm.

A Supreme Rainmaker

Truth be told though it did look as though he would rather be at the coalface and doing what he has done best over the years, originating and closing substantial deals.

Over the course of his career with Credit Suisse Sitohang has been involved in around $150 billion of mergers and acquisitions and capital raising across the globe. From his Singapore base, he has directed the origination of many of the banks highest-profile transactions across the Asian region and into Australia.

Working Through Financial Crises 

His most recent award noted that he had led from the front as Credit Suisse went through a difficult period of restructuring across its operations in the region, helping it through a period of intense market volatility from China down to Southeast Asia.

He also sustained the Swiss banks operations throughout the toughest of times during the Asian financial crisis standing firm with clients who have since come to see him as their trusted adviser.

Originally an Oilfield Engineer

Born in Prague to his Indonesian father and Slovakian mother, he studied economics on a Soviet-sponsored scholarship in what was then Czechoslovakia. The family was later to return to Indonesia, where Sitohang studied at the Bandung Institute of Technology.  

He started his career as an oilfield engineer before eventually deciding on banking. He joined Credit Suisse in Indonesia in 1998, a troubled time in Indonesia and just when the Asian financial crisis was at its height.

In Tune With Clients

Sitohang remained diligent in making sure Credit Suisse maintained its presence in Indonesia, as the troubled country went through regime change, to eventually became a powerful player. After leading for more than a decade as the Indonesian country head, in 2010 Sitohang's efforts were recognised and he was made Credit Suisse chief executive officer in Southeast Asia.

Since then under Sitohang’s stewardship, Credit Suisse has won more than 100 country and deal awards in Asia Pacific and he now has a seat on the Executive Board. 


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