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How Credit Suisse loved Sanjeev Gupta before the painful divorce

Horse-drawn horses galloped across the frozen seabed in the town of St Moritz’s Al Morine, pushing snow from their men’s backs.

In February last year, weeks before Switzerland was deported because of coronavirus, Credit Suisse sent its favorite customers to White Turf – an event of more than 100 years, in which their fierce “runner” competition, which the Swiss bank sponsored for years tens.

When the seven fearless pilots risked their lives at the Grand Prix Credit Suisse, he was one of the tourists who threatened the bank: British steel chief Sanjeev Gupta.

Nowadays, the ever-expanding GFG Alliance is on the rise after the collateral for Greensill Capital collapsed. The metal team is also under investigation from the UK Serious Fraud Office. It denies any wrongdoing.

Credit Suisse is known to have had the opportunity to disassociate with Gupta through Greensill, which writes loans on notes issued by Swiss bank funds. After Greensill’s fall in March, Credit Suisse was faced with the dilemma of how much debt could be bad, including credit to the GFG.

What is not known so far, however, is that Credit Suisse also has a special relationship with Gupta.

A group of former Swiss lending executives has revealed to the Financial Times how its secret banks and international leadership have paid tribute to the steel, giving him VIP support that continued his journey to St Moritz.

In establishing a close relationship with the Indian-born businessman, Credit Suisse ignored warnings from corporate clients and bankers.

The revelation that Credit Suisse has given Gupta everything from a major home bank to a private audience and their future boss, frustrating its customers who are facing billions of losses.

Some of these customers are expected to file a complaint with Credit Suisse, alleging that they have failed to manage their finances. And Greensill’s troubles come as the bank complains about another security issue in its operation with Archegos, a family office that collapsed.

“The idea of ​​making money for entrepreneurs such as [Gupta] In any case, he did not make the right choice, “said a former Australian bank manager who said he did not enjoy Gupta’s debt as a reason for resigning.

Credit Suisse and GFG declined to comment.

Five-star support

After years of luring Sanjeev Gupta, Credit Suisse filed for divorce in late March, asking courts in the UK and Australia to bring in several businesses that are starting to repay loans.

With $ 1.2bn to repay on behalf of angry customers, the Swiss bank has some tools that can be used. Some of Gupta’s creditors from Greensill benefited from their guarantees, according to people familiar with the law, which would allow his creditors to evict the so-called “iron man”.

To that end, Credit Suisse recently hired a secret investigator in Kroll to find Gupta’s treasures around the world, according to three people familiar with the matter.

When Gupta spent ten years buying businesses that made steel houses and 35,000 workers, he also found a group of internal wealth. All purchases come from a private jet and a helicopter with matching vanities, to London’s £ 42m mansion – with his wife’s name on it.

Credit Suisse will not need Kroll’s work to become a genius in another beautiful Gupta mansion: a large 20th-century stone building overlooking Sydney Harbor.

“Credit Suisse provided the mortgage. He is proud of it, “said the former official.” The process was to repay the debt to Australia. “

Helping Gupta buy an A $ 35m (US $ 27m) home, owned by a trustee overseen by an Australian stockbroker, was just part of Credit Suisse’s career as its financial manager.

The Swiss bank also controlled the assets of Lex Greensill, a 44-year-old Australian founder of Greensill Capital, a former paper billionaire before the death of his financial company.

Lex Greensill

Lex Greensill’s assets were also overseen by Credit Suisse © Ian Tuttle / Shutterstock

Gupta's main apartment in Sydney

Gupta’s main entrance to Sydney Harbor © Getty

Managing the economics of entrepreneurs who had all the conflicts was part of a Credit Suisse study. Helman Sitohang, who has been working in Asia-Pacific for a long time, made a permit to eat the richest businessman in the region, and identified other threats.

Sitohang said in February, just days before Greensill Capital was established. “In Asia this place has found us well.”

Gupta and Greensill shared a joint venture with Credit Suisse: Shane Galligan, one of Sitohang’s biggest rainmakers, who set up Australia’s largest financial management company.

“If you look at the Asian approach to customer service, no one is bigger than a commercial bank than he or she is,” said Credit Suisse, a second-tier banker. “It covers billions. That was his thing. ”

Galligan ensured that Gupta received a five-star Swiss bank. In addition to inviting a metal magnate at the Alpine horse festival, in 2019 he held a coveted meeting with bank chief Tidjane Thiam.

Galligan and Sitohang helped deal with the growing banking crisis with Gupta and Greensill, according to former Credit Suisse banks. A person close to the bank said Sitohang was not near Gupta or Greensill.

A former leader recalled an internal call in 2020 between Galligan, Lara Warner – a high-risk officer who followed until he left to pursue Greensill and Archegos fiascos – and a few other fundraisers to discuss the growing risks around his business with Greensill.

“There was no interest or appreciation for the increased risk,” he said. “They just say, ‘We want to save this chance.'”

Credit Suisse said Sitohang and Galligan declined to comment.

Flight to Zurich

In February 2020, the same month Credit Suisse welcomed Gupta to St Moritz, British bank regulators merged with SFO and anxiety related to the economic inclusion of his family.

The Swiss bank has received a stern warning. In July 2020, the retailer Trafigura warns Credit Suisse that the money spent on the bank seems to have a dubious pass from Gupta’s business. The warning came as the bank was inside internal monitoring of the funds, were initiated by an FT report on an unusual relationship and co-founder Greensill SoftBank.

And, not only did Greensill’s joint venture provide loans to Gupta, Credit Suisse also considered donating their metal sheet to the metal magnate.

In October 2020, Gupta unveiled the idea of ​​capturing one of Germany’s oldest – and symbolic – corporate concerns: Thyssenkrupp more than 200 years of steel production.

Sanjeev Gupta and Prince Charles, Damien Judd and Jay Hambro
Gupta, second from left, and Prince Charles, left, and Jay Hambro, right, in 2018 © News Licensing

The iron is growing he boldly revealed what he wanted to do, had not yet made any financial loans, but had support letters from the financial institutions in his hands: Greensill and Credit Suisse.

Representation of Thyssenkrupp’s summons did not take place. A former official said Credit Suisse’s banking divisions were “everywhere” GFG, attracted by the money that could be sold at prices that seemed to be ineffective, having also won a title in its writing business InfraBuild in Australia. .

Money did not come, however. It all fell apart earlier this year when Greensill began translating and threatening to take on GFG.

Greensill’s future was announced last weekend in February, when Credit Suisse made a decision save his $ 10bn about capital expenditures, after realizing that the main insurance contractor who oversees the invoice security machine has expired.

On the Friday before the election, Gupta flew to Zurich with his loyal soldier Jay Hambro, scion of British banking kings. Twelve months after the Iron Curtain celebrated Credit Suisse’s hospitality in the White Turf, he entered the Swiss capital Paradeplatz to receive a different reception.

Mr Gupta and Mr Hambro urged the bank not to withdraw the money, according to people who are familiar with the negotiations.

At the moment, Credit Suisse did not want to stay with his former client.

Additional reports by Owen Walker and Stephen Morris

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