By Andres Gonzalez and Pamela Barbaglia
LONDON (Reuters) -Credit Suisse has hired a senior Barclays dealmaker to lead its investment banking business in Spain and Portugal, in a bid to strengthen its presence in a region where activity surged last year.
Nacho Moreno, who was in charge of the investment banking franchise in Iberia at Barclays, will become Credit Suisse’s head of investment banking and capital markets for the region, according to a memo seen by Reuters, which was confirmed by a spokesperson for Switzerland’s second-largest bank.
Moreno will take on the new role in late summer, replacing Wences Bunge who will continue as Credit Suisse chief executive for Spain and Portugal while also running the Swiss bank’s real estate group as global chairman.
Moreno will report to Jens Haas and Giuseppe Monarchi who co-head the bank’s coverage across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He will work closely with Iberia M&A head Rafael Abati as well as Israel Fernandez del Sol who joined Credit Suisse last year as co-head of its EMEA financial institutions group.
Madrid has become a hub for renewable energy deals in Europe with Credit Suisse deploying Abati in a wider role as head of M&A for energy and infrastructure across EMEA.
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Credit Suisse employs nearly 500 people in Spain after relocating staff from London as part of a Brexit strategy which has the Spanish capital as a “central location”, the memo said.
The Swiss lender is in the middle of a major reorganisation launched last year to draw a line under a series of scandals that hit its finances and prompted a management shake-up.
On Thursday, one of its biggest investors, Artisan Partners, said Credit Suisse should start looking for a new CEO to replace Thomas Gottstein. Meanwhile, ratings agency S&P has downgraded the group’s credit rating to BBB, citing the deteriorating economic and business environment.
Spain was one of Europe’s most active M&A regions in the first quarter of 2022, ranking fourth behind Britain and France but ahead of Germany, with deals worth $16.5 billion, according to Refinitiv data.
Credit Suisse has advised on a series of high-profile deals and share sales in the region including EQT’s purchase of Spanish solar power developer Solarpack, the sale of Portuguese plastic packaging maker Logoplaste to Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board and the Madrid-listing of Acciona Energia last year.
It ranked as the eighth most active advisor in Spain in 2021, working on deals worth an overall $12.4 billion, Refinitiv league tables show, and recovering from 35th position in 2020.
(Reporting by Andres Gonzalez and Pamela Barbaglia; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Alexander Smith)