Citi Private Bank adds family office, names market heads

The firm appoints Richard Straus to run its family office for North Asia as part of a global drive, and names Steven Lo as Hong Kong head and hires John Wang from Goldman to run Taiwan.
Richard Straus: New family venture
Richard Straus: New family venture

Citi Private Bank has moved to establish a global family office and institutional business for North Asia, while it has also named new market heads for Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The firm has appointed Richard Straus to lead the family office business out of Hong Kong. The bank started this venture in the US about six months ago, and it remains a work in progress in the region.

A spokesman for the bank confirmed that Citi Private Bank was in the process of establishing a similar operation to cover Southeast Asia, probably based in Singapore. A hiring process is understood to be underway.

Only this week Citi Private Bank named James Holder to lead it global family office for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Straus was unavailable for interview at press time. But, in a statement, the bank described its move to establish a global family office as a key development and growth opportunity.

Swiss wealth manager UBS made a similar move recently, establishing a regional family services unit headed by Yan Lau to cater to the needs of ultra-high-net-worth clients predominantly based in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Straus is a 24-year veteran of Citi and has held senior private banking roles in the US, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. Prior to taking up this role he was market head for Taiwan.

AsianInvestor can confirm Citi Private Bank has since hired John Wang from Goldman Sachs as its new head of Taiwan, where Citi operates as the largest foreign bank. He started last December, having worked for Goldman as its Taiwan head for the past four years and having been with the firm since 1996.

Separately, Citi Private Bank confirmed that Steven Lo (pictured left) has been appointed global market manager for Hong Kong, effective immediately.

He replaces Sam Tse who moved to become chief operating offer for Citi Private Bank Asia-Pacific based in Hong Kong in what is a new role at the firm.

Lo is a Citi veteran, having joined the bank in 1991 to develop and manage relationships for high-net-worth families for the private bank in Vancouver and New York. Since 2001 he has been based in Asia as global market manager for Thailand, Vietnam and offshore Japan.

This represents a shuffling of the deck by Aamir Rahim, Citi Private Bank’s Asia-Pacific CEO. Both Straus and Lo report to Rahim.

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