The move is a coup for CSFB, which is trying to catch up with rivals such as Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs to become one of the "bulge bracket" investment banks.
At Lazard Brothers, where he was vice-chairman, Mr Nelson led some of the UK's biggest deals, including the pounds 3.9bn hostile takeover of hotel group Forte by Granada. He is said to have excellent contacts with senior executives, including Granada's Gerry Robinson, Lord Simpson of GEC and Sir Geoff Mulcahy of Kingfisher.
CSFB is only the third company Mr Nelson has worked for. Now 51, he started at Kleinwort Benson where he worked for 17 years before moving to Lazard.
"I just felt that at my stage in life I've still got plenty left to offer," Mr Nelson said yesterday. He added that the parting with Lazard was "on very good terms". He will take up his new job in the new year.
Mr Nelson said the current market turmoil was an opportunity for CSFB. "The market is shaking out. But it will accelerate the process where the large and powerful investment banks have been getting more powerful. CSFB is in a wonderful position. It could become the pre-eminent firm in Europe."Reuse content