Citi to hire 2,300 staff to boost Asia-Pacific wealth franchise
Bank aims to add over US$150 billion AUM across the region
19 Apr 2021 | The Asset

Citi will add around 2,300 professionals, including 1,100 relationship managers and private bankers, and invest in cutting-edge technology in its Hong Kong and Singapore wealth hubs. The move is part of its “Win in Wealth” campaign, which aims to add over US$150 billion in assets under management across its Asia-Pacific franchise, including US$120 billion in the high-net-worth segment. The bank did not say when it expects to reach the target in its press statement.

Peter Babej, the bank’s chief executive officer for the region, comments: “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. Along with macro-level asset growth, Asian customers increasingly require portfolio advice, design and allocation geared toward diversification of asset types and geographic exposures.”

 In January, Citi announced the formation of Citi Global Wealth (CGW), aligning the private bank and the consumer wealth business under the leadership of Jim O’Donnell, formerly the bank’s global head of investor sales and relationship management.

Jim O’Donnell, Citi global wealth head, says: “We are seeing once-in-a-generation wealth creation in many parts of the world, particularly Asia. With Citi’s unique capabilities and assets, we have the opportunity to lead our industry in wealth management.

“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. We source the best asset management partners for our clients based on their needs rather than focusing on our own offerings. We also benefit our commercial bank that serves a client base where wealth is created.”

Citi’s global wealth franchise in Asia includes Citigold (affluent), Citigold Private Client (core HNW) and Citi Private Bank (upper HNW and ultra HNW), with the latter counting about one-third of the region’s billionaires as clients, according to the bank.

In 2020 Citi recorded over US$20 billion in net new money inflows across the region, marking a record year for the franchise.