Citibank names Singapore retail banking head, carves new role for retail high-net-worth clients

Ashmita Acharya (left) will be head of retail banking while Chan San San is now appointed Asia Pacific and EMEA Citigold Private Client business head from Oct 1. PHOTOS: CITI

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Citi has made two internal senior retail banking appointments in Asia-Pacific that are based in Singapore, including a newly created role with oversight of the bank's retail high-net-worth clients, as well as a new head for its Singapore retail banking arm.

Ms Ashmita Acharya, currently Asia-Pacific and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) head of segments, will be head of retail banking for Citibank Singapore from Oct 1.

The latest appointment follows the exit of then head of retail banking Charles Wong after nearly five years in that role, with more than two decades with the bank. He was appointed to his role back in 2015 to oversee the retail banking business alongside wealth management, bancassurance, sales and network distribution.

The bank's head of wealth and segments, Ms Chan San San, is helming the retail banking arm on an interim basis, with her now appointed Asia-Pacific and EMEA Citigold Private Client (CPC) business head, also effective Oct 1.

In Ms Acharya's new role, she will support Citi Singapore's plans to double wealth management clients by 2025, said Citi in a statement. She will report to Mr Fabio Fontainha, Citi's head of retail banking for Asia-Pacific and EMEA, and Mr Brendan Carney, head of consumer banking for Citi in Asean and Singapore.

Ms Acharya joined Citi in 2002 as a Citigold wealth management relationship manager in India. She later moved to New York where she held a number of country and global roles across client experience, marketing, strategy and segments.

She has led the development and growth of Citi's segment propositions, including Citi Priority for the emerging affluent segment.

Separately, Ms Chan's appointment as Asia-Pacific and EMEA CPC business head is a new role. She will also report to Mr Fontainha.

The Singaporean is now head of wealth management and segments, on top of being acting retail banking head for Citibank Singapore.

The CPC segment caters to customers with US$1 million to US$10 million (S$1.4 million to S$13.7 million) in investable assets and is available across 11 markets in Asia. The business in Asia is the fastest growing for CPC globally, Citi said.

In her new role, Ms Chan will drive accelerated growth for the segment, a key contributor to Citi's wealth management ambitions in Asia. Citi is targeting a 10 per cent increase in new wealth management clients and assets in 2020, driven by its digital push.

Ms Chan joined Citi Singapore in 2003 as a management associate, where she later took on roles within the wealth management business, including Citigold investment consultant and branch manager.

Both Ms Chan and Ms Acharya are based in Singapore and will continue to be based here in their new roles. Citi's Asia-Pacific consumer banking business comprises 17 markets, 12 in the Asia-Pacific and five in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

On the new appointments, Mr Fontainha said: "Asia-Pacific remains one of the fastest growing wealth regions globally, presenting opportunities for Citi to further support both existing and new clients.

"The newly created CPC business head position underlines the strategic focus for Citi across this important retail wealth management segment. Through our latest appointments, we continue to support our plans for growth."

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