William Galvin, Massachusetts secretary of state, said on Monday that he planned to question Frank Quattrone, Credit Suisse First Boston’s star technology banker, after his investigators turned up what they characterised as incriminating e-mail evidence against the investment bank.
The new e-mails came to light after Mr Galvin had already referred evidence to Eliot Spitzer, New York attorney general, and asked him to consider prosecuting CSFB for fraud. Massachusetts is one of a number of state and federal authorities investigating conflicts of interest on Wall Street.
Mr Galvin’s comments came as CSFB was drawing up plans to lay off a further 7 per cent of its staff, about 1,700 workers, to cope with the continuing slump in the securities industry. The cuts are expected to fall most heavily on investment banking.
John Mack, CSFB chief executive, had already trimmed 14.5 per cent of the firm’s headcount since taking over a little more than a year ago.
The e-mails concern CSFB’s relationship with two technology companies, Research in Motion, the maker of Blackberry pagers, and Virata.
The Research in Motion e-mail, written by Mr Quattrone, appeared to show CSFB resuming research coverage on the company with a “buy” rating after paying $1.8m in investment banking fees.
A CSFB pitch to Virata, a semiconductor supplier, included an illustration stating that the investment bank stood by its investment banking clients when other analysts downgraded stocks on bad news.
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