Citigroup investment bank head Jamie Forese to exit

Citigroup investment bank head Jamie Forese to exit

Citigroup’s president and investment bank boss Jamie Forese is stepping down as the sprawling US bank undergoes its second major round of management change in less than a year.

Mr Forese, 56, had been seen as a possible successor to chief executive Mike Corbat. Instead, he is being replaced at the helm of the investment bank by Paco Ybarra, a Spaniard who runs Citi’s global markets business from London.

In a memo released on Thursday, Mr Corbat also announced Citi’s Asia Pacific chief executive Francisco Aristeguieta was stepping down “to pursue an outside opportunity in the industry”. He also named a new co-heads of Citi’s markets business, a new head of its North America bank and a new chief auditor.

The moves come just less than a year after Citi announced the departure of its veteran chief finance officer John Gerspach, European chief Jim Cowles and its head of North America Bill Mills, and a shake-up of Mr Forese’s top lieutenants.

“While we will miss the experience and counsel of those who have moved on, I believe that change is healthy and creates new opportunities for our firm and our people,” Mr Corbat wrote in a note to Citi staff.

The changes come as Citi struggles to improve its returns, with pressure from activist investor ValueAct to increase profitability.

Insiders at the bank insist the moves are all regular transitions of executives who wanted to do different things, and do not signify an overhaul of strategy at the bank that has struggled to increase revenue and rein in costs in recent years.

“They are both very thoughtful, cerebral, strategic people,” said one senior executive at the investment bank of the transition from Mr Forese to Mr Yabarra. “They are more like each other than not.”

Mr Forese, 56, and Mr Ybarra, 57, both previously worked in Citi’s fixed income division, and were co-heads of that division for a spell from 2008. Both men have an understated style with few formalities.

Mr Forese became head of Citi’s Institutional Client Group (ICG) in 2013, when the bank was under the shadow of the financial crisis, with around $300bn of bad assets earmarked to be run down in its noncore division.

The other leadership changes include naming Carey Lathrop, chief operating officer for Citibank NA and Andy Morton, global head of G10 Rates, markets treasury and finance, as the new co-heads of Citi’s markets and securities division.

Mr Lathrop was due to become CEO of Citi’s banking subsidiary, Citi NA — that job is being taken by Mary McNiff, Citi’s chief auditor. Her role as Citi’s chief auditor will be filled by Jessica Roos, currently chief auditor of the investment bank.

In Asia, where Citi has increased revenue strongly but hit recent speed bumps including losses of up to $180m on an ill-fated hedge fund trade, Tim Monger, head of productivity, takes over as interim CEO.

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