Citi adds execution and trading heads in Asia

Citi has hired Ian Smith from Credit Suisse as head of electronic execution in an effort to become a leader in the service. In addition, the bank announces hires to its FX trading and TMT teams, as it continues to build its Asia franchise.

Citi announced yesterday that it has appointed Ian Smith as head of electronic execution product for Asia-Pacific. Smith joined Citi after 10 years at Credit Suisse where he was head of advanced execution services product Asia-Pacific. Smith will report to Paul Sanger, regional head of execution services.

"This hire further underlines our intentions to become the leading provider of electronic execution services to our clients," said Sanger. "Ian's market knowledge, experience in creating execution platforms and client relationships will be instrumental in helping drive our business forward in this area which is a major strategic priority."

Smith will work closely with Ben Valentine, head of electronic execution sales trading and will be leading a team of five professionals focused on providing cutting edge solutions to clients in the electronic execution area. Further hires are expected across the sales and trading team in the coming months.

Citi electronic execution provides trading solutions, which are designed to be fully integrated with a client's trading needs. Citi provides access to more than 30 markets globally including alternative pools of liquidity.  

Earlier this year the bank extended CitiSmart, its electronic trading platform, in India via the National Stock Exchange of India and in Malaysia via Bursa Malaysia. These launches added to Citi's electronic execution suite in Asia which includes Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan. In some of these markets, Citi reports that it is seeing record flows across its platform.

Meanwhile, over in Japan, the firm announced it has hired Jo Narita as head of FX trading.

"The hire of Jo Narita is representative of the significant investment we are making in FX in Japan. We are continually looking to provide better service to our Japanese clients, and we believe that finding and attracting the best talent in the market is fundamental to our ability to do that," said Bapi Maitra, head of FX for Citi in Japan.

According to an internal memo that FinanceAsia saw, Narita joined from Goldman Sachs "where he developed unique market-making and risk management skills that have led him to be regarded as one of the preeminent traders in FX, not only in Japan but globally. He has a keen sense of business strategy, and will play a key role in the expansion of not only the trading business, but the overall Japan FX business as well."

And as part of Citi's latest efforts to build up its technology, media and telecommunications group, Citi announced that Anand Ramachandran joined its TMT global banking Asia-Pacific team as a managing director based in Hong Kong, covering key clients in the telecommunications sector.

Ramachandran is transferring from Citi investment research and analysis where he was deputy head of pan-Asia research since 2009 and head of the Asia telecoms research team from 2003-2009. This team has consistently ranked top three for telecoms research in the Institutional Investor All-Asia Research polls for the past three years.

In late June, the firm transferred Jim Perry from the Palo Alto M&A team to the Hong Kong TMT group as a managing director with coverage responsibilities for large-cap technology and clean technology companies in Asia.  

"We have a busy pipeline in the TMT sector across capital markets and M&A and these hires underline our expectations for a further pick up in client activity in TMT," said Nikhil Eapen, managing director and regional head of TMT for Citi.

Citi has been active in TMT in the region, notably working as a lead manager on the $650 million high-yield bond offering for Indonesia Telecom Indosat in July.

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