US-based multinational banking service provider Citigroup recently revealed in an announcement that it has Asia-Pacific business division now has a new head. According to statement released by the firm, it has promoted one of its executives Mr. Peter Babej to serve in role of Chief Executive Officer for its Asia-Pacific and was made public via release of an internal memo to major media outlets. In his new role as Chief Executive Officer for Citi Group’s business units in Asia-Pacific unit, Peter will be based in the group’s Hong Kong office. Given its recent loss suffered in form of loans issued to Asian hedge funds by the group’s FX prime brokerage division and given increased regulatory choking in European market, the group is focusing on strengthening and boosting its presence in Asian market with plans aimed at increasing its presence in mainland China. Asia-Pacific region is the biggest overseas market for the group outside of United Stated and according to a quote made by the firm’s spokesperson to UK based international financial daily – Financial Times, the business in this region is one of the strongest performers accounting for nearly a fifth of revenues and about a third of net income.
Citi Group’s ongoing plan to increase its presence in mainland China is a part of its drive to be the first foreign bank to launch a securities business in mainland China without a local partner. The group expects to achieve this status in 2020 as China is expected to relax its foreign ownership rules in 2020. Peter has been a part of Citi group’s family for nearly a decade now having joined the firm as the co-head of its financial institutions group nearly nine years ago and was serving in role of sole head of the financial institutions group for last two years until receiving his latest promotion. In his role as head of the financial institutions group, he was in-charge of handing large transactions in Asia including last year’s financing round for Ant Financial. Prior to joining Citi Group, Babej served in a senior level role at Deutsce Bank and Lazard. He is succeeding Francisco Aristeguieta as CEO of APAC while Francisco has joined State Street Corporation as the head of its international business.
During the interim period of six months since Francisco’s resignation and announcement of Peter’s promotion earlier this week, Tim Monger has been served as acting Chief Executive Officer for the region alongside handling the duties of his original role as Chief Financial Officer of the region. Commenting on Peter’s promotion to role of head of APAC business unit, Michael Corbat – Chief Executive Officer of Citi Group commented, “Under Peter’s leadership, the [Financial Institutions Group] has participated in some of the most significant transactions in the sector, including several Asia-driven mergers and acquisitions. He will draw on his deep knowledge of the financial services landscape in Asia, where we continue to see great opportunities, including fast-growing digital adoption, for which Citi is well-positioned given our footprint and capabilities”.