CLSA Emerging Markets has moved to fill a potential hole in its offerings under an agreement with CIBC World Markets, with the brokerage aligning its investment banking services with the Canadian group's. Executive chairman Gary Coull said the agreement with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) gave North American companies pan-Asian business access, and direct entry to capital markets in the United States and Canada for Asian corporates and governments. He said the agreement provided an alternative to the dominant 'bulge-bracket' services in the region. He said CLSA did not have a foothold in the US when the technology boom had greatly benefited the larger US and global firms. There is also a growing trend among Asian companies to seek US listings for visibility, pricing and diversification of their shareholder bases. 'What we do not have is access to domestic institutional investors in the US. These firms are big takers of global equity deals so with CIBC, itself a significant broker in this market, we hope to plug this gap in our distribution,' Mr Coull said. Mr Coull said CIBC was similar to CLSA in that it had a strong business in the US, but increasingly events in Asia affect the US marketplace, such as the recent big initial public offerings on the mainland. The two groups have agreed on the new venture without the use of equity.