Citigroup appoints top investment banker from JPMorgan

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Citigroup has appointed top JPMorgan investment banker Vis Raghavan as head of banking, completing its new management team and attempting to jump-start an underperforming business.

Raghavan, 57, is a 23-year veteran of JPMorgan Chase, the largest investment bank globally, and had been promoted to sole head of investment banking last month.

Citi touted the hire as a coup, with chief executive Jane Fraser saying: “Vis is a proven leader and his appointment is another example of our ability to attract the best talent to our firm.”

Shortly after Raghavan’s move to Citi was announced, JPMorgan sent a memo to employees announcing that Filippo Gori and Doug Petno would become co-heads of global banking: a new division encompassing JPMorgan’s commercial, corporate and investment banking businesses. 

Citi’s recruitment of Raghavan is the final appointment of a big restructuring started by Fraser last year, which shifted Citi from having two large business units to five operating divisions. That shake-up is the driving force behind 20,000 job cuts at Citi, the third-largest US bank by assets.

The head of banking job had been one of the industry’s highest profile vacancies, with intense speculation over who would fill it. Peter Babej had filled the role on an interim basis but is expected to retire this year.

One senior Citi banker said Raghavan was viewed as having “done a good job” at JPMorgan and had “a lot of credibility”. “It’s great for Jane,” the banker added. 

Citi’s banking division reported revenues of $4.6bn for 2023, down 15 per cent from a year earlier. It was the smallest of Citi’s five divisions behind US personal banking, trading, services and wealth management.

Line chart of Share prices rebased showing Citigroup's shares have trailed rivals during Jane Fraser's tenure

Citi has consistently lagged behind investment banking rivals JPMorgan, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs. It was the fifth largest investment bank by fees earned last year, according to Refinitiv data.

Raghavan joined JPMorgan in 2000 and previously held senior roles in the lender’s debt and equity capital markets businesses, and also ran investment banking in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The JPMorgan reshuffle, meanwhile, bolsters Petno, who was previously head of commercial banking, as a potential candidate to one day succeed longtime chief executive Jamie Dimon.

He is not regarded as the frontrunner, however.

Raghavan’s appointment as sole head of investment banking at JPMorgan last month was one of a number of senior personnel changes at the bank, which positioned Jennifer Piepszak, Marianne Lake and Troy Rohrbaugh as leading candidates to take over from Dimon.

Fraser said Raghavan would start at Citi in the summer.


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