Citi appoints Jing Zhao and Simon Yoo to run Asia-Pacific FIG

Jing Zhao and Simon Yoo will become co-heads of Citi's financial institutions group in Asia-Pacific, replacing Dan McNamara who recently joined Nomura.

Citi global banking announced yesterday that it has appointed Jing Zhao and Simon Yoo as co-heads of its financial institutions group (FIG) in Asia-Pacific.

Both will report to Farhan Faruqui, head of Asia-Pacific global banking, and be based in Hong Kong. 

Zhao is currently Citi's chairman of China investment banking and she will continue in this role alongside her new job, keeping offices in both Beijing and Hong Kong. Yoo, who is head of the financial entrepreneurs group in Japan, will relocate to Hong Kong to take up his new position before the end of the year. 

They replace Dan McNamara, who recently joined Nomura. At the time he left Citi, McNamara was Asia head of both FIG and real estate. Prior to that role he had been co-head of investment banking for Asia-Pacific together with Mark Renton. McNamara took up the FIG and real estate jobs at the US bank when Faruqui was appointed head of global banking for Asia-Pacific in February this year -- a role that includes overseeing investment banking. The position of global investment banking head for Asia-Pacific was eliminated as part of that restructuring.

Also joining the team is Ashish Bajaj, who joins the FIG team in Hong Kong as head of financial institutions relationship management in Asia-Pacific. He will report to Zhao and Yoo.  

"Our financial institutions group is one of our most important franchises in the region given the continued capital needs and M&A opportunities for banks in the region," said Faruqui. 

Citi has more than 90 bankers in its FIG global banking team across the region, covering investment banking, corporate banking and commercial banking clients. 


Zhao joined Citi in 2006 from Morgan Stanley to lead the China investment banking effort and was instrumental in building the team, while working on deals including the merger between China Netcom and China Unicom and the IPOs of China Coal, China Citic Bank, China Railway Construction Company and Metallurgical Corporation of China. During Zhao's 15-year banking career, she has been a core member of the teams on several key transactions in the FIG space, including the IPOs of PICC Property and Casualty, Ping An Insurance and China Construction Bank.

Yoo joined Citi's FIG team in New York in 1997 and was co-head of FIG Japan from 2005 to 2007, before leading the financial entrepreneurs group sector team in Japan. He has been involved in numerous landmark restructurings, global offerings and mergers in the US, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia.

Bajaj is a 22-year veteran with Citi having worked in New York, London and India. He is currently head of global transaction services, within the commercial bank and global subsidiaries group in India, and has helped develop and grow these businesses significantly. During his Citi career, Bajaj has also helped manage the emerging markets cash and trade businesses while based in London. His replacement in India will be announced shortly.

In 2009, Citi has helped Asia-Pacific FIG clients raise more than $50 billion from the debt and equity markets. It is also the top ranked bank for announced and completed M&A in the finance and insurance space in Asia-Pacific, according to Dealogic data, thanks largely to two key deals -- the Government of Singapore Investment Corp-led purchase of a 17.8% stake in Citigroup for $12.5 billion; and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group's $7.9 billion acquisition of certain assets of Nikko Citigroup.

Citi has been on a hiring spree of late. Earlier this week it announced that it has named John Jacobson head of equity sales for Asia-Pacific, based in Hong Kong. Jacobson joins from Macquarie Securities, where he was previously head of accounts management. In September, Citi global banking appointed Rodney Tsang as a managing director and co-head of China investment banking. 

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