About CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets

A Canadian in Hong Kong

CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets is the Asian brokerage, investment banking and private equity arm of French banking giant Crit Agricole.  The company was the brainchild of Canadian-born and Hong Kong-based business journalist Gary Coull who spun the firm off from a Hong Kong brokerage firm called Winfull Laing and Cruickshank.  When massive French bank Crit Lyonnais (which was acquired by Crit Agricole in 2003) bought out the firm, Coull took charge and set up the groundwork for an international brokerage operating out of Hong Kong.  With Crit Agricole's 65-percent ownership, Coull worked hard during his tenure as chairman to attract the attention of even more international investors to the Asian market.  Part of his plan to do so included hosting annual investor forums which featured splashy parties and appearances by international celebrities such as Elton John, James Brown and Macy Gray.  Coull died in October 2006 of colon cancer, only one month after he was named one of the top 50 most influential people in Asian financial history by FinanceAsia.

CLSA was established as an equity brokerage, but as Asian markets have grown over the past several years, the company has delved more into the booming business of raising capital through IPOs.  CLSA has been involved in 233 successful equity transactions in Asia, 111 of which involved companies in Greater China, helping raise $57 billion for corporates from January 2002 to June 2008.  In that period, CLSA completed 76 M&A and advisory transactions in nine markets.

China securities

In 2003, CLSA also established the first Sino-foreign joint-venture investment bank in China, following the country's membership in the World Trade Organization.  The joint venture is called China Euro Securities, Ltd. (CESL) and is headquartered in Shanghai, employing 80 investment professionals.  Since it was incorporated, CESL has completed 17 lead underwriting and sponsoring deals and has been recognized as the “Most Innovative Investment Bank Team in China†by the Securities Times in 2006, a Chinese newspaper overseen by the China Securities Regulatory Commission.  One of CESL's biggest deals was the secondary offering of Zhenhua Port Machinery in December 2004, which was 88 times oversubscribed.

Through its own business license and affiliates, CESL's investment-banking services include equity financing, debt financing, private placement, enterprise restructuring and ownership reform, M&A, shareholding structure reform, enterprise strategy and financial planning.  In June 2008, CESL was granted a broking license and equity research license, making it the first Sino-foreign joint-venture securities company to be permitted to broke A-shares and offer full-service research.


CLSA has a strong track record in the issuance of equity products for Asian corporates and in 2007, the company ranked in the top 10 on Bloomberg's underwriter league tables which measures all eligible equity issues in Asia Pacific (excluding Japan, Australia and New Zealand).  CLSA's proceeds in that category were approximately $2.6 billion, giving them a rank of No. 10 with 1.9 percent of the market share.  In addition, CLSA climbed the Thomson Financial (now Thomson Reuters) league tables three places in the category of equity capital markets in 2007, earning itself a place in the coveted top 10 for book running of common stock in Asia (excluding Japan and Australia).  The bank's proceeds in that category were approximately $2.8 billion, giving it a rank of No. 10 with 2.2 percent of the market share.

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CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets

18/F, One Pacific Place
88 Queensway
Hong Kong
Phone: +852-2600-8888
Fax: +852-2868-0189


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Chairman & CEO: Jonathan Slone
  • 2008 Employees: 1,350