Ivo Distelbrink departs Citi for Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Distelbrink leaves Citi just eight months after being promoted to head of treasury and trade solutions for Asia-Pacific and Japan.
 Ivo Distelbrink
Ivo Distelbrink

Ivo Distelbrink, Citi's head of treasury and trade solutions for Asia-Pacific and Japan, has left the bank and will start at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in March.

Citi confirmed his departure but would not comment on who his replacement will be except to say that it will be announced "soon". Sridhar Kanthadai, managing director and Asia-Pacific chief operating officer of Citi global transaction services, will be acting treasury and trade solutions head in the interim.

Distelbrink will join Bank of America Merrill Lynch as Asia head of global treasury services, BoA Merrill said. He will be based in Hong Kong and report to London-based Joel Van Dusen, deputy head of global corporate banking.

A representative of BoA Merrill said Distelbrink will work on "developing and implementing an integrated regional treasury business" for the institution in the region. This is part of a larger build-out of the bank's corporate banking business in Asia-Pacific, the representative explained.

Distelbrink's departure comes as Citi continues to recover from the loss of confidence in the bank that was prompted by Lehman Brothers' September 2008 collapse and the US government's bailout of Citi later the same year. While annual revenues for its global transaction services division globally fell last year, in Asia net profit grew 3% to $1.2 billion.

This is Citi's second loss to BoA Merrill in as many months. In January, Chris Gammons departed Citi to become head of BoA Merrill's private equity business in Asia.

Citi heralded Distelbrink's appointment as head of treasury and trade solutions in May 2009 as the first time it had combined business and client management functions for its cash management and trade finance businesses in a single role. Based in Hong Kong, he reported to Anthony Nappi, Asia-Pacific head of global transaction services, and to New York-based Paul Simpson, global head of treasury and trade services.

Commenting to FinanceAsia at the time of his appointment, Distelbrink said: "One of the primary objectives for me in my new role is to break down barriers and silos between different parts of our organisation."

And in a conversation late last year he said Citi had succeeded at "truly integrating" its cash and trade business in 2009 and was delivering a "single, coherent approach" to its clients. He emphasised the success of the bank's supply chain and end-to-end working capital solutions as examples of the integration of its transaction services business.

Prior to taking on the combined role at Citi, Distelbrink was head of sales for treasury and trade solutions in Asia-Pacific and Japan. He started at Citi in 1994 and has held various roles in Brazil, China and New Zealand.

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