Citigroup hiring 2,300 staff in S'pore and HK

Figure includes 1,100 relationship managers, private bankers in newly merged unit

Citi expects to add in excess of US$150 billion (S$200 billion) of assets under management across its Asia-Pacific franchise, including US$120 billion in the high-net-worth segment, and further extend its leadership position in the region, it said in
Citi expects to add in excess of US$150 billion (S$200 billion) of assets under management across its Asia-Pacific franchise, including US$120 billion in the high-net-worth segment, and further extend its leadership position in the region, it said in a statement yesterday.ST FILE PHOTO

Citigroup said it will add around 2,300 employees and invest in cutting-edge technology in its wealth management hubs of Hong Kong and Singapore.

The United States bank's hiring spree in the region will include 1,100 relationship managers and private bankers in its newly merged unit, Citi Global Wealth (CGW).

Citi announced in January the formation of CGW, aligning the private banking and consumer wealth businesses under the leadership of Mr Jim O'Donnell, formerly the global head of investor sales and relationship management.

Mr O'Donnell, now Citi's head of global wealth, said: "We are seeing once-in-a-generation wealth creation in many parts of the world, particularly Asia."

The bank expects to add in excess of US$150 billion (S$200 billion) of assets under management (AUM) across its Asia-Pacific franchise, including US$120 billion in the high-net-worth segment, and further extend its leadership position in the region, Citi said in a statement yesterday.

Citi already ranks as one of the top three wealth managers in the Asia-Pacific region.

"With Citi's unique capabilities and assets, we have the opportunity to lead our industry in wealth management," Mr O'Donnell said.

"We are putting the full force of the firm behind this effort to create a single, integrated wealth platform that will serve all clients, providing tailored capabilities for affluent individuals to ultra-high-net-worth families."

Citi's global wealth franchise in Asia includes Citigold, Citigold Private Client and Citi Private Bank. Its private bank counts one-third of the region's billionaires as clients.

Mr Peter Babej, Citi's Asia-Pacific chief executive officer, said: "The Asia-Pacific wealth market stands out in its scale and growth potential. And this is not a cyclical opportunity - it is structural, driven by the emergence of a vast middle class and the rapid development of regional capital markets."

Last year, the bank recorded over US$20 billion in net new money inflows across the region, marking a record year for its global wealth franchise.

Citi is one of the largest foreign banks in Singapore, with staff of about 8,500, including contract employees. It opened its largest Citi Wealth Hub globally in Singapore last year, and has announced plans to double AUM by 2025 in the local market and triple the number of clients in the same period.

The bank was designated as a Domestic Systemically Important Bank by the Monetary Authority of Singapore in 2015. Such banks are assessed to have a significant impact on the stability of the financial system and functioning of the broader economy in the country.

Last week, Citi announced that it will exit 13 international consumer banking markets, including China and India, shifting its focus to wealth management.

The bank said it will focus its global consumer banking business on four markets: Singapore, Hong Kong, London and the United Arab Emirates.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2021, with the headline 'Citigroup hiring 2,300 staff in S'pore and HK'. Subscribe