Citi makes three senior BCMA hires in Hong Kong and launches new wealth hub

The bank sees issuers across tech, consumer, healthcare and electric vehicle (EV) supply chain as likely to drive IPO activity in 2023.

US-headquartered Citi last week announced three appointments within its banking, capital markets and advisory (BCMA) division, in Hong Kong. They each took effect from late November.

The bank expressed optimism for a revival of the city’s capital markets, which this year took a hit amid prolonged Covid-19 restrictions and dampened market sentiment.

“We have one of our strongest pipelines on record across the Hong Kong IPO market [and] remain confident for further IPO activity over coming quarters [with a] mix of issuers across tech, consumer, healthcare and electric vehicle (EV) supply chain. [We also expect] continued debt issuance from Hong Kong clients to support growth ambitions,” a spokesperson for Citi told FinanceAsia.

Ben Ngai has rejoined the bank as managing director and head of investment banking for Hong Kong. He reports to Alex Schrantz, APAC head of corporate finance and Hong Kong head of BCMA.

Ngai was with Citi between 2004 and 2007, first as vice president within the M&A group and later, as director of the financial entrepreneurs group. Most recently, he served as managing director for corporate, commercial and institutional banking at Standard Chartered Bank, covering conglomerates, family offices and public sector clients in Hong Kong. Prior to Standard Chartered, he held a number of senior investment banking roles at Credit Suisse, including director of Asia ex-Japan sponsor coverage.

Mimi Tse has also joined the bank, as director and head of corporates and public sector coverage within the corporate banking division in Hong Kong. She joins from HSBC, where she was a senior coverage banker and team head within the corporate banking department. In this role, she led a number of landmark transactions in debt, equity, leveraged acquisition financing and M&A, and made contributions to the bank’s markets and cash management business. She now reports to Joy Cheng, Hong Kong head of corporate banking.

Finally, Kathy Cheung has joined Citi as a corporate banking director in Hong Kong, reporting to Tse. She was most recently a director within the corporate and leveraged acquisition finance credit team at HSBC in the Special Administrative Region (SAR). Her remit involved responsibility for structured finance, Asian private equity credit, and large corporates based in Hong Kong. Previously, she worked in M&A coverage, based in the UK.

Wealth hub

Earlier in November, Citi announced the establishment of a new global wealth management centre in the city. The bank has highlighted Hong Kong as one of its four global wealth hubs, alongside London, Singapore and the UEA.

Wealth forms a strategic priority within the business, following the bank’s decision to divest from its consumer banking franchise. Most recently, it completed the sale of its Malaysia and Thailand units to UOB. In April, the bank promoted former CEO for Hong Kong and Macau, Angel Ng, to lead its Asian wealth initiative. She reports to Peter Babej, APAC CEO, and Jim O’Donnell, CEO of Global Wealth Management.

“This is our first global wealth management centre opened globally [and a] sign of our commitment to Hong Kong as one of our four global wealth hubs. We are targeting tripling clients and doubling assets under management by 2025,” the Citi spokesperson told FA.

In Asia, Citi’s wealth franchise manages approximately $200 billion worth of assets for 2 million clients.

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