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Citi fired almost no senior bankers in its latest round of changes

Following the early stages of Jane Fraser's Bora Bora reorganisation, Financial News today published a list of the next rung down of Citi managing directors who report to its new sole EMEA head of investment banking, Jens Welter. As with the November revelation of the senior appointments at Welter's level, it's all a bit surprising.

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Although Citi aims to take out 5,000 people as it simplifies its management structure and reduces management layers from 13 to eight, in investment banking at least almost no one seems to be leaving. Instead, and as when Citi tackled the levels above last year, it's mostly just moving people into new roles. 

For example, Barry Weir and Robin Rousseau, who were previously co-heads of M&A for EMEA are both still on the list, but Weir is now head of M&A for the UK and the Middle East and Africa and Rousseau is the head of M&A for Europe. David Dubin, who was previously the global head of infastructure finance, is now head of EMEA instead and has been transplanted into the investment banking division.

Various expensive people who might have been sent on their way have simply become chairmen or vice chairmen instead, a role which sounds fancy but mostly involves schmoozing clients and liberates the holder from the irritations of managing a team. Linos Lekkas and Patrick Frowein, who were promoted as co-heads of the banking, capital markets and advisory unit in Europe (excluding France, Italy and Ireland) just four months ago, have got new jobs: Lekkas is a vice chairman; Frowein is head of Europe investment banking. Will Weaver, who was head of EMEA debt capital markets, is reincarnated as a vice chairman too.

Despite Fraser's explicit dislike of co-head structures, the reorg also includes at last three new co-heads: Paul Abrahimzadeh and Russell Chong, as co-heads of North America equity capital markets; Valery Barrier and Suneel Hargunani, as heads of UK, Europe and MEA ECM origination and solutions; and Ken Chow and Uday Furtado, heads of Asia North, Australia, Asia South ECM products and execution.

Citi declined to comment for this article but it all looks like a bit of a missed opportunity, and will add fuel to criticisms that Fraser is too nice and has been hoodwinked by Citi's senior bankers, all of whom appear to be men.

Some people have gone though. Simon Francis, the former EMEA head of debt financing at Citi retired. "His retirement was announced on comp day," says one ex-colleague. 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Co
    28 January 2024

    5 years back CITI went full WOKE, they said 50% of their VPs and AVPs will be women, I guess that backfired. Senior Managers bonuses were based on their DEI score how many new hires would be women.

    They also went crazy hiring people in Toronto,Tampa, Belfast and Tel-Aviv these were all Near-SHORING. That was a complete shit-show mess, the way CITI works is that Managers on purpose hire additional staff to make out that they are doing alot of work and they are then able to corner greater budget in the next year.

  • Go
    27 January 2024

    That's not true. The latest round sees mainly women and locals getting cut...

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