Citi names head of sales, markets for Apac role; launches CCB in Japan

Cécile Gambardella, will relocate from Paris to Hong Kong, to become head of sales markets, Japan, Asia North, Australia and Asia South. Citi has also set-up a unit in Japan to serve "mid-sized companies", which Yutaka Naito will lead.

Citi has appointed Cécile Gambardella as head of sales, markets for Japan, Asia North, Australia and Asia South. She has been tasked with the development and expansion of relationships across Citi’s markets franchise in the region.

Based in Hong Kong, Gambardella (pictured) will report to Paul Smith, head of markets, Japan, Asia North & Australia, and Sue Lee, head of markets, Asia South.

She joined Citi in 2022 and was most recently head of markets, France & Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg), where she was a regional leader across customer products for investors, corporates, and public sector clients. Prior to Citi, she worked at Bank of America and JP Morgan in local and G10 markets roles, according to a Citi statement.

Smith said in a statement: “Asia Pacific is key to our franchise with strong growth potential, particularly in financing and cross-border transactions, which are core businesses. With Cécile’s track record and wide network, she is well placed to lead our sales team as we drive further growth across our Asia Markets businesses.”

Lee added, “The region presents a highly interesting opportunity for our clients at a time of shifting global trade flows. We are pleased to welcome Cécile to lead our integrated corporate and institutional sales team, as we strive to deliver the full potential of our global network and structuring expertise to our clients.”

Japan launch

In another development at the US-headquartered bank, Citi has launched Citi Commercial Bank (CCB) in Japan to focus on mid-sized corporates in Japan through their growth journeys. Citi defines mid-sized companies as those with sales between $100 million up to $3 billion.  

Citi already serves large Japanese corporates and global multinational companies, and the move follows the launch of CCB in France and Ireland in 2023, as well as Germany, Switzerland and Canada in 2022.

Citi has also appointed Yutaka Naito as head of CCB for Japan. Tokyo-based Naito will oversee CCB’s business and operations in the country. He is responsible for driving the growth of the business, its financial performance, and building new client relationships. He will also work closely with Citi’s markets, services and other banking busineses.

Naito joined Citi as treasury and trade solutions Japan Corporate and public sector sales head in 2019.

Gunjan Kalra, head of Japan, Asia North & Australia, and Asia South for CCB, commented: “Citi is dedicated to supporting mid-sized companies with their growth journey. Japan is home to many new and innovative companies, with global linkages and cross-border business needs.”

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