Nikko Citigroup restructures and appoints new CEO

The Japanese investment bank integrates the sales and origination functions of its debt and equity divisions, and replaces retiring CEO Hideo Abe with Sim S Lim.
Nikko Citigroup, the investment banking subsidiary of Nikko Citi Holdings, has appointed former country officer in Hong Kong, Sim S Lim, as its new CEO. Lim takes up the post on June 30.

Lim has been at Citi for 25 years, including a previous stint in Tokyo in 1987 where he headed the corporate and consumer bank treasury. Since then, he has worked in New York, heading up risk treasury, and in Riyadh where he was in charge of sales and trading at the Saudi American Bank, in which Citi had a stake at the time. He returned to Asia in 2003, where he was head of emerging market sales and trading before becoming country head for Hong Kong.

Lim has a close connection to Japan, having married a Japanese national and having attended Yokohama National University.

His predecessor Hideo Abe is to retire in September. Until he leaves, he will remain on the board of directors.

Shinji Oyama, currently co-CEO, will become vice-chairman responsible for handling senior client relationships. In other words, Lim will not be constrained by a co-head. He will answer to Douglas L Peterson, president and CEO of Nikko Citi.

Furthermore, Nikko Citigroup has moved to integrate its offering across products and groups.

This will involve Taro Hayashi heading up a new capital markets origination group in Japan that combines ECM, DCM, and the alternative markets group. Michimasa Naka will head a new global investor sales group that also integrates relationships across equities and fixed income. Peter Wells will co-head this. Finally, Brian Mccappin will head fixed income, currency and commodities, and Peter Wells will head equity products.

Western investment banks in Japan generally have much smaller operations than in London or New York, making such integration easier to accomplish.

Nikko Citigroup was originally a joint venture between Nikko Cordial Securities (NCS) and Citigroup. But in April last year, the US bank bought out the parent of NCS for $7.7 billion, and NCS is now a 100%-owned subsidiary. NCS focuses on the brokerage and retail market to complement Nikko Citigroup's wholesale investment banking approach.

On May 1 this year, NCS's parent Nikko Cordial Corporation merged with Citigroup Japan, creating Nikko Citi Holdings. Nikko Citi Holdings is the holding company of the Japan units and Nikko Citigroup is thus a subsidiary of Nikko Citi.
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