Citigroup Names Ida Liu to Head Global Wealth Management

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(Bloomberg) — Citigroup Inc. said Ida Liu will become the firm’s global head of private banking as the firm continues to build out the new wealth-management unit it formed earlier this year.

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The promotion comes as the bank also named new regional wealth-management heads. Liu, most recently head of the private bank in North America, will oversee the part of the unit that caters to more than a quarter of the world’s billionaires and other ultra-high-net-worth clients, according to a memo to staff signed by Jim O’Donnell, head of the firm’s global wealth division.

Citigroup’s recently minted Chief Executive Officer Jane Fraser has said she hopes to expand the firm’s business of catering to affluent clients, and earlier this year combined the firm’s wealth-management and private-banking businesses into one unit led by O’Donnell.

“Global wealth continues to grow at an unprecedented pace, with the market in Asia rivaling that in the U.S., and Europe showing renewed momentum,” O’Donnell said in the memo. “Our clients are looking for more.”

The firm’s wealth-management franchise in Asia will now be led by Fabio Fontainha and Steven Lo, who currently lead the region’s retail-banking and private-banking units, respectively. Luigi Pigorini will oversee the business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. All three, along with Liu, will report to O’Donnell.

© Bloomberg Citi Private Bank Managing Director Ida Liu Interview

Ida Liu

Photographer: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg

Giuliano Malacarne will now coordinate the global wealth unit’s banking and lending products, with a focus on art advisory, aircraft leasing, commercial real estate and margin lending. David Bailin, the firm’s chief investment officer, will form a new group called Citi Global Wealth Investments that brings together the investment teams from the private- and consumer-banking arms.

The firm is planning to expand its law-firm group, which provides advice to law firms and their partners. That effort will be lead by Naz Vahid, who will remain head of the overall group.

“This strong global, regional, client and product focus will help us deliver a differentiated value proposition to all client segments,” O’Donnell said in the memo.

Here’s other major announcements in the memo:

Jose Fuentes, who’s run Citigroup’s private-banking arm in Latin America for more than a decade, has told the firm he’ll retire.Running Du, currently a member of Citigroup’s corporate strategy team, will be chief of staff for the new global-wealth unit.Eduardo A. Martinez Campos will become the global wealth unit’s chief operating officer, while Ronna Glick will become global head of client strategy and analytics.David Poole will continue as head of U.S. consumer wealth.

“My goal as global head of private banking is to ensure you and your needs are at the heart of what we do,” Liu said in a letter to clients Wednesday. “Many of you have increasingly sophisticated and global wealth needs.”

(Updates with Liu’s comments in last paragraph. A previous version of this story included a company correction of hierarchy in fifth paragraph.)

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