|Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia|
|Founded||Hong Kong (1986)|
|Headquarters||Hong Kong, Hong Kong|
Number of locations
Chairman and CEO
|Brands||CLSA’s Investor Forums|
|Services||Equity broking, corporate finance & capital markets and asset management.|
Number of employees
CLSA Ltd. (formally Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia) is a brokerage and investment firm focused on institutional brokerage, investment banking and asset management for corporate and institutional clients around the world.
Founded in 1986, CLSA has its headquarters in Hong Kong and offices or representatives in 15 cities across the Asia-Pacific region, as well as Amsterdam, Boston, Chicago, New York City, London and San Francisco. In 2013, CITIC Securities, China's largest investment bank acquired CLSA for US$ 1.3 billion.
In 1986, Winfull Laing & Cruickshank Securities began operations in Hong Kong, with former business journalist Jim Walker as chairman. The small brokerage was a 50-50 joint venture between the Woo Hon Fai family and Alexander Laing & Cruickshank.
Walker was soon joined by two other former journalists: Gary Coull, as head of the dealing room, and Malcolm Surry, as head of research. All three had worked at the South China Morning Post; neither Coull nor Surry had any experience in brokering.
The following year, Crédit Lyonnais acquired Alexander Laing & Cruickshank and, after various iterations, Walker’s start-up emerged in 1989 as Credit Lyonnais Securities (Asia). But relations with the French giant – which was about to be engulfed by a series of major financial scandals – soon became ‘impossible’, according to Coull, and he and Walker resigned. They were persuaded to return in exchange for a 35% stake in the company and guarantees of independence.
CLSA was majority owned (65%) by Crédit Agricole, France’s largest retail-banking group, with the remainder held by staff, until 2012. That year, Crédit Agricole sold a 19.9 percent stake to the Chinese firm CITIC Securities. On July 31, 2013, CITIC Securities acquired the remaining 80.1% of CLSA from Crédit Agricole to become the majority shareholder of CLSA.
Controversies that have hit the firm include the Securities and Futures Commission reprimand in May 2004; Asiamoney “vote-rigging” email in 2005; and Allen Lam insider-trading conviction in July 2009
Locations and staffing
With headquarters in Hong Kong, CLSA has offices or representatives in 24 other cities around the world: Sydney and Melbourne (Australia), Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen (China), Mumbai and Pune (India), Jakarta (Indonesia), Tokyo (Japan), Seoul (Korea), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Port Louis (Mauritius), Manila (Philippines), Singapore (Singapore), Colombo# (Sri Lanka), Taipei* (Taiwan), Bangkok (Thailand), London (United Kingdom), Amsterdam (Netherlands) Boston, Chicago, New York, Quebec and San Francisco (The Americas). Its 1,550 staff include more than 150 analysts covering 1,200 Asian companies across 13 sectors. *In Taiwan, CLSA is represented by CL Securities Taiwan, a licensed broker-dealer and exclusive research provider in Taiwan. #In Sri Lanka, CLSA is represented by CT-CLSA, a brand of CT-Smith Stockbrokers Ltd.
CLSA’s Investor Forums
CLSA’s renowned Investor Forums are unrivaled for their content, corporate access and investor insights. These invitation-only events attract thousands of institutional investors to Asia each year from across the globe.
The 23rd CLSA Investors’ Forum from 19-23 September 2016, will feature Nobel Prize laureate Joseph Stiglitz, economist and scholar Robert Gordon, Financial Times columnist John Plender, pollster and author Frank Luntz, and many more specialist speakers.
- Gary Coull obituaries: The Times,  FT  and FinanceAsia 
- Asiamoney Poll of Polls 2009 (requires subscription)
- Citic Securities’ Shares Slump on Planned $1.3 Billion Deal for CLSA
- SFC reprimand
- Asiamoney: CLSA talks about that email (requires subscription)
- FT: Ex-CLSA banker admits HK insider trade