Citi hires

Citi ramps up commodities with two key hires

Citi hires Matthieu Lauras and Bao Vu from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as the US bank continues to deepen its commodities footprint in Asia.
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Photo: AFP</div>
<div style="text-align:right; font-size:7pt; color:rgb(119, 119, 119);"> Photo: AFP</div>

While other financial markets struggle, commodities maintain a strategic attraction to banks. A structural shift towards long-term higher demand from China and other industrialising economies makes a persuasive argument for adding staff when other divisions are contracting — human resources departments need to show a great deal of contrarian and intellectual rigour to resist.

So, it was not surprising that Citi announced two further appointments to its Asia commodities operation yesterday, building on major hires last year. Matthieu Lauras has joined as head of commodities investor sales Asia-Pacific. Based in Singapore, he will concentrate on boosting the bank’s sales platform, servicing regional financial institutions and sovereign wealth funds.

Lauras was most recently Asia co-head of investor solutions at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Prior to that, he was based in London with Goldman Sachs where he provided commodity derivatives investment solutions to hedge funds and asset managers, after a period at Morgan Stanley where he focused on interest rates derivatives.

Bao Vu also joins from BoA Merrill, where he was the other co-head of investor solutions, and has been appointed senior structurer for commodities sales at Citi. Earlier in his career, Vu was a senior structurer at Deutsche Bank, providing solutions for both institutional and corporate clients. He also spent three years at UBS, working on rates and foreign exchange structuring in Asia.

The appointments “reflect our strong focus to grow our commodities platform and is a key element of our broader goal as we continue to invest in the business to help our regional and global clients who are increasingly looking to grow their investments in this region”, said David Ratliff, Citi’s head of investor sales Asia-Pacific.

During the past 18 months, Citi has expanded its commodities platform, appointing Robert Bayley as head of its Asia commodities division in January 2010, and hiring Rob Biro as head of global oil trading. In addition, Citi named Ed Morse as the global head of commodities research and relocated David Thurtell, head of base metals research, from its London office to Singapore.

Both Laura and Vu report to Bayley, and took up their positions in late August.

“Our build-out reflects the importance of commodities to our customers regionally and globally,” added Ratliff.

Citi Asia-Pacific generated nearly $45 billion of revenues and $15 billion in net income across its franchise in the region, according to a spokesperson. In addition to commodities, its range of products includes foreign exchange, rates and credit.

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.
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