This year Steve Foland deserves credit for building an outstanding Asian extension to CSFB's global tech franchise. He has methodically hired a team of outstanding tech bankers and is well placed now that the froth has gone out of the market. Let's face it, there have been some outstandingly bad Asian tech IPOs this year, and to their credit, CSFB managed to avoid allowing short-term considerations to sully its dominant global franchise with any of them. It may seem odd to give credit in these awards for turning down deals, but given what we saw this year, it is a very considered decision.

The fact that CSFB is the tech banker of choice is amply illustrated by its close relationship with PCCW, for which it first raised $296 million at the end of last year and was later brought onto the HKT acquisition for its tech expertise by Richard Li himself.

What does this tech expertise consist of? Bhavin Shah was ranked the number one Semi-conductor team leader, while Jay Chang is well-known on the street as a star of the internet industry, and was ranked first by Reuters. Chang used to work at Microsoft Network during MSN.com's launch, while Shah leads the 14-person research team and is a former microprocessor design engineer for Digital Equipment Corporation. He jointly designed the architecture of the world's fastest Alpha microprocessor, and in the process received three US patents.

CSFB's overall team was voted not only first by Institutional Investor but also by Reuters. It is this bottom-up approach to building its tech effort that has seen investors look to CSFB as the broker of choice. This year CSFB was joint bookrunner on the IPO for ASAT, and was a key advisor on the year's landmark transaction, advising PCCW on its $28 billion acquisition of HKT. In total, it was involved in 15 capital market transactions and private placements. It has many of the premier mandates going forward, and has built tremendous relationships in the semiconductor field, which is likely to be the strongest area of growth in the next 12 months.

One source of confidence ? apart from the team itself ? is the fact that Frank Quattrone is in charge. Quattrone is the world's top tech banker and when he set out to replicate his US and European franchises in Asia he didn't take the task lightly. CSFB has a global tech team that is 600 strong.

Quattrone called personally from the US to emphasize his support for what Foland has achieved this year. "We have been growing our business in Asia over the last year significantly faster than we have in the US and in Europe, and we're big believers in the area," Quattrone said. "We think Asia is going to contribute disproportionately more of our revenues going forward than other geographies."

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