Credit Suisse to cut headcount by 11%

The financial services giant will lay off 5,300 employees across all business units but concentrated in investment banking. Asset management will focus on a ‘smaller number’ of activities.

Global financial services company Credit Suisse will cut 5,300 positions, or 11 percent of total staff, across all business units including asset management.

Also, Credit Suisse will lay off 1,400 contractors.

Roughly two-thirds of the layoffs will be made in investment banking and related support staff, while the remainder will be spread throughout support areas, private banking and asset management, Credit Suisse chief executive Brady Dougan said on a conference call.

The strategic plan for the asset management unit is to be “focused on a smaller number of things we do well and better aligned with the bank’s other businesses”, Dougan said.

A spokesperson declined to provide further detail regarding the impact of the announced job cuts on asset management.

Credit Suisse’s alternatives investments business has more than $167 billion in assets under management across a family of funds including: private equity, leveraged buyouts, mezzanine, real estate, secondary funds and fund of funds, hedge funds and fund of funds and leveraged loan and collateralised loan obligation programmes among others.

The bulk of the job cuts will be made in the next month and the first quarter of 2009 with the expectation of being complete by mid-year, Dougan said.

The cuts will be spread out geographically with a higher concentration in the US where the firm’s investment banking footprint is larger.