|Founded||Hong Kong (1986)|
Chairman and CEO
Number of employees
CLSA (Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia) is Asia's leading equity brokers and investment groups focused on institutional broking, investment banking and asset management to corporate and institutional clients around the world.
Founded in 1986, CLSA (Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia) 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, London and San Francisco. The parent company is CITIC Securities, China's largest brokerage.
Unlike most of its competitors, CLSA is a research-driven agency broker. It’s known for its annual investor forums, and reports and analysis that ‘tells the story’ (a legacy of the journalism background of its founders).
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 21 other cities around the world: Sydney (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), Taipei* (Taiwan), Bangkok (Thailand), London (United Kingdom), Amsterdam (Netherlands) Boston, Chicago, New York and San Francisco (United States of America). Its 1,850 staff include more than 150 analysts covering 1,200 Asian companies across 13 sectors. In Taipei, CLSA had been represented by Credit Agricole Securities Taiwan.
CLSA Capital Partners is the firm’s alternative asset-management arm and comprises 10 funds with more than US$2.6bn under management. The strategy is simple, according to Executive Chairman Richard Pyvis: ‘We invest in businesses we understand that are driven by domestic demand.’ The funds target growth companies, property and transport, buyout financing, mid-market buyouts and clean-tech opportunities.
Global Head of Research : Dr Edmund Bradley
Director of Publications : Dr Simon Harris
China joint venture
China Reality Research
Launched in 2006, China Reality Research independently monitors what is now the world's second-largest economy by collecting and analysing grassroots data from across the country. With a presence in about 100 cities, it tracks and reports on a vast range of activity, including core sectors such as banking, steel, real estate, resources, consumer goods and energy, as well as key macro trends such as food inflation, urbanisation and the rise of China’s middle class. CRR also conducts bespoke research for clients.
A continually evolving executive-level education programme for the firm’s top clients, CLSA U provides unfiltered access to independent experts[who?] in a wide range of fields and specialities affecting investment decisions in the region. Over any 12 months, it offers some 75 courses in 22 locations around the world, attracting 4,500 enrolments. The syllabus focuses on the latest industry trends, investment theories and macro developments, but also includes personal-growth topics.
20 Years in Asia: Two decades of commitment
Anatomy of the Bear: Lessons from Wall Street’s four great bottoms, Russell Napier ISBN 978-962-86067-9-5
Climb! The Pinstriped Backpack, Richard Pyvis ISBN 978-962-86067-1-9
The Corruption of Capitalism: A strategy to rebalance the global economy and restore sustainable growth, Richard Duncan ISBN 978-988-98942-4-5
Islam & Economics: A productive partnership?, Richard Pyvis & Phillip Braun ISBN 978-988-98942-2-1
Mr & Mrs Asia: An extraordinary survey of an extraordinary region ISBN 978-988-98942-0-7
New beginnings: After the tsunami: The rebuilding of Lamreh Village, Aceh, Isla Rogers-Winarto and Helen Vanwel
Tomorrow’s Gold: Asia’s age of discovery, Marc Faber ISBN 978-962-86067-2-6Asia Maxima (Christopher Wood)
Bits & pieces (Damian Kestel)
Eye on Asian economies (Eric Fishwick)
GREED & fear (Christopher Wood)
Solid Ground (Russell Napier)
- Gary Coull obituaries: The Times,  FT  and FinanceAsia 
- Asiamoney Poll of Polls 2009 (requires subscription)
- Investopedia definition of agency broker
- 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
- CLSA Chairman’s Trust
- China Reality Research (requires subscription)
- CLSA Capital Partners
- Innovate or Die - the end for firms like CLSA by startups
- Boao Forum for Asia
- Clinton Global Initiative
- The Community Chest
- Copenhagen Climate Council
- Hong Kong International Coastal Cleanup Challenge
- In memory of Gary Coull (1954-2006)
- In memory of Jim Walker (1949-2004)
- Operation Santa Claus
- Oxfam Trailwalker