Citi's Mark Renton to leave Asia for new post in New York

Mark Renton, who has been at Citi for more than 20 years, will move back to the US and rejoin the bank's global energy team as vice chairman.
Mark Renton
Mark Renton

Mark Renton, a well-known Citi banker in Hong Kong, will be leaving Asia in less than a fortnight to take on a new role in New York.

Renton, who has been at Citi for more than 20 years, will rejoin the bank's global energy team as vice chairman. According to an internal announcement, "he will have senior client responsibility for some of the franchise's largest and most important global energy clients and will be based in New York”. Prior to moving to Asia, Renton was based in New York and headed Citi's energy group in North America, overseeing new business development and client coverage in the energy sector. So this is familiar territory.

For the past five years, Renton has been based in Hong Kong where he most recently served as global co-head of the public sector group. Before that, he was head of investment banking for Asia-Pacific. While head of IB, Renton became a name in regional banking circles, and, given his title, not surprisingly a name among journalists. But even in the public sector group role he could command attention from the region’s writers – a few months ago he gathered the top columnists and editors of every major publication for a sit-down discussion on what the group did. It wasn’t necessarily breaking news, but Renton commands local respect, and this made people attend to listen and pick his brains on all sorts of subjects.

Citi's energy team in this day and age focuses essentially on oil and gas. But Renton says he will continue to support global coverage, especially in Asia and the Middle East, where he has obviously built up contacts with political leaders and CEOs, given his previous two roles.

Renton leaves behind a public sector group in Asia that goes from strength to strength, as underlined by the bank's involvement on international sovereign bond offerings for Vietnam and Indonesia in January; in both instances Citi was one of three banks that helped the sovereigns arrange their bonds.

“We’ll miss him, but it will naturally be great to have him in the US as he is another Asian champion,” said a colleague. “His connections are useful for our global and US clients too.”

Renton clearly has mixed emotions about leaving Asia but says it’s a "great opportunity which will also allow me to maintain connectivity with certain clients in the region, given the global nature of the energy business".

The public sector group

Zubaid Ahmad, who joined Citi in late July, will take up Renton’s current public sector role. Ahmad joined as vice chairman of Citi's institutional clients group, head of sovereign wealth fund coverage, and a member of its senior strategic advisory group. He is a 25-year veteran who was hired from Standard Chartered and has previously held senior positions at J.P. Morgan. His combined titles make him effectively co-head of the public sector group together with Renton’s former co-head Jay Collins. Ahmad and Collins are both based in New York.

“Zubaid is a seasoned corporate and investment banking professional, and commands a tremendous depth of knowledge and [an] impressive stable of client relationships. We are extremely pleased that he is joining us to help lead our team in delivering the uniquely powerful combination of Citi’s global reach and product depth to our sovereign wealth fund clients,” said John Havens, chief executive officer of Citi’s institutional clients group.

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