Monday 11 January 2021 7:50 pm

Ousted Credit Suisse boss Tidjane Thiam to launch ‘blank cheque’ venture

Former Credit Suisse chief executive Tidjane Thiam is said to be launching a so-called blank cheque firm, a year after he was ousted following a lurid spy scandal.

Thiam is raising $250m (£185m) for a special purpose acquisition vehicle that will invest in financial services businesses across the globe.

Read more: Former Credit Suisse boss Tidjane Thiam and Emma Watson to join Kering board

JP Morgan Chase is helping to raise the money, with chief executive Jamie Dimon personally involved, the Financial Times reported.

The new company, which is yet to be named, will be listed in New York and is in talks with several sovereign wealth funds and potential board members.

The plans come almost a year after Thiam was ousted from Credit Suisse following a bitter power struggle in the wake of the explosive corporate espionage scandal.

The scandal began after it emerged the lender had hired a spying firm to tail Iqbal Khan, a star banker who left to join rival UBS.

It then escalated as further incidents of surveillance and details of a rancorous feud between Khan and Thiam emerged. Thiam has denied any knowledge of spying activities.

The new venture marks the latest example of the growing Spac craze, which has seen wealthy bankers raise billions of dollars.

Former Citigroup banker Michael Klein, hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman are among some of the big names to take advantage of the blank cheque trend.

Read more: Credit Suisse cuts ex-boss Thiam’s bonus in wake of spying scandal

Spacs are designed to snap up private companies and take them private through a reverse merger. Sir Martin Sorrell used the technique to launch S4 Capital, the marketing firm he founded following his departure from WPP.

JP Morgan has been contacted for comment.

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