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CLSA, Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia
Industry Diversified financials
Founded Hong Kong (1986)
Headquarters Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Number of locations
20 (2018)
Area served
Key people
Zhenyi Tang, Chairman and Jonathan Slone, CEO
Products Financial services
Services Alternative investment, asset management, corporate finance and capital markets, securities and wealth management
Number of employees
1,800 (2018)
Parent CITIC Securities

CLSA Ltd. (formerly known as Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia) is a capital markets and investment group focused on alternative investment, asset management, corporate finance and capital markets, securities and wealth management for corporate and institutional clients around the world.[1][2]

Founded in 1986 by two former journalists, CLSA has its headquarters in Hong Kong and offices or representatives in 17 cities across the Asia-Pacific region, as well as Amsterdam, London and New York. 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). 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.

In 2003 Crédit Lyonnais, including CLSA, was acquired by Crédit Agricole, France’s largest retail banking group, and CLSA remained part of Crédit Agricole until 2012. That year, Crédit Agricole sold a 19.9 percent stake to the Chinese firm CITIC Securities.[3] On July 31, 2013, CITIC Securities acquired the remaining 80.1% of CLSA from Crédit Agricole and CLSA became wholly owned by Citic Securities.

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[4][5][6]

Locations and staffing[edit]

With headquarters in Hong Kong, CLSA has 1,800 staff located in 20 cities across Asia Pacific, the US and Europe.

CLSA’s Investor Forums[edit]

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 24th CLSA Investors’ Forum held between 11 and 15 September 2017 featured Steve Bannon, Lord Mervyn King, Cambridge Analytica’s CEO Alexander Nix, Financial Times journalists John Authers and Gideon Rachman and many more specialist speakers.


  1. ^ Gary Coull obituaries: The Times, [1] FT [2] and FinanceAsia "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  2. ^ "Page Not Found". Euromoney. 
  3. ^ Gough, Neil. "Citic Securities' Shares Slump on Planned $1.3 Billion Deal for CLSA". 
  4. ^ SFC reprimand
  5. ^ "Asiamoney: CLSA talks about that email (requires subscription)". 
  6. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. 

External links[edit]