BlackRock and Pegasus Europe are reportedly eyeing the asset management unit of Credit Suisse that has been hit heavily by exposure to the collapsed Greensill Capital and Archegos Capital Management.
Citing undisclosed sources, Reuters reported that the Swiss bank is in the initial stages of a strategic review of the asset management business.
However, the bank is yet to start in-depth discussions with interested parties, the news agency said.
As of now, Credit Suisse is waiting for former Lloyds head Antonio Horta-Osorio to assume the role as chairman next month before finalising any decision, the sources added.
One of the sources has been quoted as saying: “They have started talks with some of the parties, but not due diligence, no data room yet. Some of the potential buyers want the entire business, others just parts.
“Credit Suisse is still in crisis mode and they have not decided how to proceed yet.”
American asset manager State Street is also weighing a rival bid for the fund management business in full or partially, Reuters’ report added.
At the same time, the business has garnered interest from European asset managers including Germany-based DWS.
BlackRock, State Street, DWS and Pegasus Europe refused to offer any comment on the matter.
Pegasus Europe, which specialises in financial services investments, is set to list in Amsterdam by the end of this month or early May, two sources revealed. It is a blank check firm led by ex-UniCredit CEO Jean-Pierre Mustier.
However, the news was brushed aside by a Credit Suisse spokeswoman, who told Reuters that the group had no plans to offload its asset management operations in entirety or partially.
Finma query on Greensill risks
Meanwhile, Finma is reportedly questioning Credit Suisse over risks in its association with Greensill “months” before their collapse.
Citing newspaper SonntagsZeitung, Reuters reported that Finma head Mark Branson is personally discussing the risks with outgoing Credit Suisse chairman Urs Rohner and CEO Thomas Gottstein.
Formal discussions are going on at technical level between Credit Suisse and the regulator, added the report.
Neither Finma nor Credit Suisse commented on the news.
Currently, Credit Suisse is embroiled in legal tussles and threats from investors, and staring at potential financial losses over the scandals.
It has been in troubled waters ever since Greensill Capital, for which it was a major funding source, became insolvent.
The bank was associated with selling around $10bn worth of Greensill-created securities through its asset management arm.
It froze all funds related to with Greensill after the securities lost insurance coverage.
The bank also launched an internal probe into the matter soon after. It reportedly also hired external firms to deal with regulators’ queries and expedite the reimbursement process to offer liquidation proceeds from the funds to investors.
Three senior executives including the head of the bank’s European asset management arm were replaced as a result.
Also followed the decision to separate the bank’s asset management unit -that housed the supply chain funds – from the much larger wealth management division.
Last month, the bank named Ulrich Körner as the new chief of its asset management arm.
Currently, the role of its executive board members, including CEO Gottstein, is under the scanner over the scandal.
The bank’s woes increased with the revelation of a $4.7bn loss following the collapse of US-based hedge fund Archegos Capital.
In relation to the Archegos collapse, the CEO of investment bank Brian Chin and chief risk and compliance officer Lara Warner will quit the bank. The bank has suspended its share buyback programme, decided to cut its dividend, and nixed bonus for its top executives.