Citi Targets Brazil For Hires, Growth

Tom Burroughes Group Editor 25 March 2011


The wealth management unit of Citigroup in Brazil expects to increase assets under management from its current $20 billion by about 25 to 30 per cent over the next three years and aims to hire a further 20 bankers in the fast-growing Latin American nation, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The expansion represents a change of fortunes for the Brazilian arm of the US banking giant, which had suffered in the 2008 financial crisis. It also highlights the rising profile of Brazil, and Latin America more generally, as a growth centre for wealth management.

"Those clients who took their money out were starting to bring their money back again," Robin Liddle, chief executive of Citi Wealth Management in Brazil, was quoted as saying. "And we had other new clients come in."

A number of large banking groups, such as Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Santander, have expanded into the country in pursuit of this wealth. The WSJ cited data from the Brazilian Association of Financial Capital Market Institutions, showing that overall assets in the country's private banking industry hit 371.2 billion reais ($222.5 billion) in 2010, up 23 per cent from 2009.

Citi's private-banking unit has been in Brazil for the past two decades, serving Brazilians with at least $10 million to invest. Including people from the Citigold premium banking unit, it employs around 120 bankers and has around 25,000 clients.

Citi plans to hire 20 more private bankers in Brazil, 15 of whom will be employed by Citigold, now called Citigold Private Client, Liddle was quoted as saying. Two years ago, Citi’s private bank in Brazil merged with the retail bank's Citigold platform for customers with at least $1 million. These units have 25,000 clients and employ 120 private bankers, including 20 from the private bank, and 100 from Citigold, the report added.


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