Citigroup Inc plans to hire around 3,000 new staff for its Asia institutional business in the next few years, sharpening its focus in a fast-growing region where it has exited consumer banking in most markets, its Asia Pacific chief executive said.
The previously unreported staff expansion plans underline Citi’s ambition to make institutional banking and wealth management engines of growth, seeking to bolster revenue in a region that has become a battleground for global banks looking to tap its vast economies and growing wealth.
“We’re talking about real meat on the bones in growing our business across Asia,” Asia-Pacific CEO Peter Babej told Reuters in an interview. Babej took on the role in 2019 and previously worked as global head of the bank’s financial institutions group.
Citi has around $200 billion in wealth assets in Asia, and the bank is “on track” to grow client assets by $150 billion by 2025, despite global economic and market uncertainties.
The bank’s expansion of Asian institutional business comes on top of plans announced last year to hire about 2,300 people by 2025 for its wealth management unit.
Citi said last year that $7 billion in capital released from the divestment of consumer banking businesses in 13 markets, 10 of which were in Asia, would be either returned to shareholders or invested in lucrative institutional banking and wealth management units.
The bank’s main regional, institutional business is in Hong Kong and Singapore, and these two hubs would be a key focus of the 3,000 additional headcounts for the unit.