Credit Suisse First Boston

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Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB)
Founded 1988 - rebranded 2006
Key People Credit Suisse Group CEO Brady W. Dougan was CSFB's last CEO

Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) was a high-flying tech-boom brokerage and financer in the late 1990s that was brought low some years later by a federal investigation into its initial public offering (IPO) practices. The CSFB business was eventually folded into Credit Suisse Investment Banking (CSIB) and its brand retired in 2006.


CSFB had its roots in a co-operation agreement between Zurich-based retail bank Credit Suisse and Boston-based securities broker First Boston Corporation forged in 1978.[1] CS gained a controlling stake in FB a decade later and renamed the new brokerage Credit Suisse FB. CSFB prospered during the 1990s Internet boom and in mid-2000 paid a staggering $11.5 billion for rival brokerage Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ), pricing DLJ shares at three times book value.[2]

CSFB's problems began soon after, in early 2001, when lead technology banker Frank Quattrone became the subject of a federal investigation into the way CSFB allocated IPO shares.[3] In January 2002 CSFB settled with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for $100 million over complaints brought by the SEC stemming from the probe,[4] and ended further SEC probes in 2003 at a cost of another $200 million.