Report: Credit Suisse MD departs to set up fund

Zhu Lei reportedly plans to establish his own private equity shop and raise RMB9 billion for two RMB-denominated funds.

Zhu Lei, a Beijing-based managing director at Credit Suisse, has left the bank to set up a China-focused private equity firm, a source told news agency Bloomberg. Credit Suisse declined to comment.

Zhu reportedly intends to raise approximately RMB9 billion ($1.3 billion; €995 million) from Chinese investors such as state-owned companies, for two funds denominated in the local currency. One of the funds will target sectors such as infrastructure and utilities.

“In this current climate, people with attractive track records, investments and performance find it easier than newer GPs with no track record to raise funds,” an Asia-based fund of funds manager, said in an interview.

Zhu joined Credit Suisse from Deutsche Bank in September 2008. He was involved in the bank’s Chinese investment banking activities such as originating mergers and acquisitions as well as capital markets transactions, according to a source close to the bank. 

This February, Ronan Agnew resigned from Credit Suisse as its head of financial sponsors coverage in the Asia Pacific region, less than a year after he moved to Hong Kong from London.

In the same month, Credit Suisse wrote down CHF599 million ($527 million; €398 million) in private equity and other investments in the last quarter of 2008. This contributed to a total net loss of CHF1.1 billion in the bank’s asset management division for the whole year.