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Credit Suisse Looks to Reduce Ties to SoftBank-Backed Greensill Capital

credit-suisse-looks-to-reduce-ties-to-softbank-backed-greensill-capital

LONDON— Credit Suisse Group AG is looking at ways to reduce ties to Greensill Capital over concerns about the specialty finance firm’s exposure to a single client, U.K.-based steel magnate Sanjeev Gupta, according to people familiar with the matter.

The options under consideration include winding down a $10 billion suite of funds the bank runs with Greensill. The bank could also replace Greensill as the main source of assets in the funds. Moving assets tied to Mr. Gupta from the funds onto the bank’s balance sheet to protect investors is another possibility, according to the people.

U.K.-based Greensill is the brainchild of former Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley financier Lex Greensill. Founded in 2011, Greensill specializes in an area known as supply-chain finance, a form of short-term cash advance that lets companies stretch out the time they have to pay their bills.

It counts former U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron as an adviser, and its main financial backer is Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp. Greensill owns a bank in Germany and also does deals that are closer to traditional merchant banking services, such as lending to large investment projects.

In supply-chain finance, Greensill competes with traditional banks such as Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase & Co. for investment-grade clients. Some of Greensill’s blue-chip clients include AstraZeneca PLC and Ford Motor Co. Greensill has also extended financing to lesser-known companies, including small start-up businesses and companies that are considered higher-risk borrowers.

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