Citi appoints co-heads of fixed income

Rahim and Zorrilla take over the reins of Citi's fixed income, currencies and commodities business in Asia-Pacific.
Citi has appointed Aamir Rahim and Rodrigo Zorrilla as co-heads for Asia-Pacific fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC). Rahim was former head of Asia-Pacific fixed income capital markets, and Zorrilla was previously head of FICC Asean and Greater China. The two men replace Jeremy Amias, who resigned from his post in August to join Noble Group as its chief operating officer for finance.

"Zorrilla and Rahim have always been strong contenders for the position and it's clear that together they bring valuable, complementary experience," says one source. "It was just a little surprising that Citi took so long to announce Amias' replacements." This lag resulted in some market observers anticipating a hire from London or New York, as opposed to two candidates so close to home.

"One explanation is that, because Amias worked through his notice period, there was little urgency in making the appointments sooner, especially since the bank has had to contend with various management upheavals," continues the source. Earlier this month in New York, Citi announced the departure of the co-CEO of the investment banking unit Thomas Maheras, and the co-head of fixed income trading Randy Barker. Despite a net income of $2.4 billion in the third quarter, revenues from securities and banking suffered $1.35 billion in write-downs and $2.2 billion in losses related to dislocations in the mortgage-backed securities and credit markets, according to a press release dated October, 15.

Rahim and Zorilla are due to begin their new roles immediately, following Amias' last day on Monday. Rahim will oversee capital markets from his Hong Kong office, while Zorilla - based in Singapore - will have primary responsibility for sales and trading. Both will report to Robert Morse, CEO markets and banking Asia-Pacific.

Having led CitiÆs fixed income capital markets business for the past three years, Rahim has also been instrumental in building the bankÆs debt capital markets business in Asia-Pacific, according to a press release issued by Citi. He has led the bankÆs efforts in building its high-yield and leveraged-finance business, strengthening its presence in local currency activities. Prior to joining Citi, Rahim held senior roles in capital markets at Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan in different locations around the world.

Zorilla, for his part, has in recent years overseen the growth of CitiÆs structuring and corporate sales business. Benefiting from work experience in Asia-Pacific, the US and Latin America, ZorrillaÆs past roles include country treasurer for Venezuela and head of sales Mexico. He began his career in the finance ministry of Mexico.

ôFICC has consistently been a strong contributor to our markets and banking business in Asia pacific,ö says Robert Morse. ôUnder Rodrigo and AamirÆs leadership, we are confident we can accelerate the momentum behind the business and ensure our clients continue to receive seamless access to our full suite of capital markets products and services.ö CitiÆs market and banking business accounted for $1.8 billion in revenue in the third quarter of 2007, with a net profit of $727 million û up 69% and 86% respectively from third quarter 2006.

One of the largest underwriters and providers of liquidity in local and cross-border markets in Asia-Pacific, Citi claims to have led close to 200 offshore and onshore transactions for Asian issuers worth up to $15 billion. In the same period, the bank has helped bring 11 inaugural bond issues to market, including Li and Fung, True Move, IRPC, Ciliandra, and Canara Bank, as well as sovereign offerings from Korea, Pakistan, Indonesia and the Philippines.
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