GLOBAL - Fitch Ratings has downgraded Credit Suisse's London-based asset management arm rating to 'AM2-' from 'AM2' and removed it from Rating Watch Negative (RWN).
The rating applies to the firm's London-based investment management activities but excludes the firm's alternative and real estate asset management activities.
Fitch said the downgrade reflected several key personnel departures over the last 12 months and the continuing transition in both executive management and investment management staff.
A spokesperson for Credit Suisse's Asset Management business said: “We are clearly disappointed by Fitch's decision, especially in light of recent appointments in our London office in the last three months. A degree of organisational and staff change is necessary as we seek to implement our strategy to better position us to serve our clients in an evolving marketplace."
Fitch said that although the firm had successfully recruited experienced replacements and was progressing according to internal plans for the enhancement of its London-based asset management platform, Fitch was concerned that the magnitude and scope of changes in management and staff may affect operating processes, most notably, investment processes.
Fitch noted the strong asset gathering over the course of 2006 and the trend was confirmed by the strong inflows in Credit Suisse's global asset management business in Q1.
Fitch said, however, the traditional core equity and fixed income businesses, which are the focus of the asset manager rating, continued to see muted growth. Equities recorded outflows in Q1 (mainly as part of the US reshuffling) and inflows into fixed-income products, except for money market products, were marginal.
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