Discover your dream Career
For Recruiters

Morning Coffee: Citigroup people have a new source of discontent. UBS's Asian wealth management problem

Some good things are happening at Citigroup. The first phase of the 20,000 job cuts is over, the share price is primed to soar according to portfolio managers who think hitting the 11-12% return on equity (RoE) target is imminent. And some new executives have joined. 

Get Morning Coffee  in your inbox. Sign up here.

Not everyone there thinks the new joiners are a good thing, though. Reuters reports that there's grumbling at Citi over the fact that Viswas Raghavan and Andy Sieg were hired externally to run Citi's investment banking and wealth management units, instead of promoting people from Citi's existing ranks. 

Both men are favourites of Citi CEO Jane Fraser and both have particular ways of doing things. Raghavan, who will join this summer, is known for being simultaneously "intense" and "abrasive" but "ambitious" and "winning" according to former colleagues at JPMorgan. Sieg, who is already in place, has been ingratiating himself with townhalls telling people to stop managing up. This is popular internally: one Citi insider tells us that her division has a long history of "success through PowerPoint," in which the ability to depict failure as success on PowerPoint presentations to senior people is the key to progress. 

In this way, the new blood will be a break from the past. But as Citi lets go of senior people, some of whom simply seem to have been unlucky, there are questions why the bank is ejecting existing talent and hiring alternatives when it has some fine people on its own benches. Some are all for it: "Outsiders are what Citigroup needs now to really bring change," Bank of America analyst, Ebrahim Poonawala, told Reuters. 

Separately, and we flagged over a year ago, UBS might have a few issues with Credit Suisse's wealth management business in Singapore. Despite having initially intimated that it wanted to keep most of Credit Suisse's people, Bloomberg points out that UBS now has an Asian wealth management business whose combined headcount is more than twice as large as that of its main competitors, HSBC and DBS. The two businesses are also quite different: UBS was all about safeguarding assets and giving clients access to hedge funds, private equity and VC investments; Credit Suisse was about making loans to entrepreneurs in places like Indonesia.

UBS is already in the process of cutting 70 jobs as a result. The task is falling to Young Jin Yee, a former gymnast who was hired from Deutsche Bank (which she'd only just joined after leaving Credit Suisse) last year as UBS's co-head of Asia-Pacific wealth management. Like Sieg and Raghavan at Citi, Yee is not universally popular. There are suspicions about her loyalty after her unexpected Deutsche Bank disappearance. She's open to cutting her own budget too, though: Bloomberg notes that she now travels to work in a chauffeur-driven Toyota Alphard instead of the black Rolls-Royce that she used at Credit Suisse previously.

Meanwhile...

Lloyds is cutting 150 risk management jobs after an internal review found the function was a “blocker to our strategic transformation.” It also plans to create 130 new specialist risk jobs, though. (Financial Times)

Credit trader Jason Feasey once managed $750m for Millennium, but he's been stopped out after some big losses. (Bloomberg)

Citi hired Alex Craddock from BlackRock to oversee its marketing and content work. (Bloomberg)  

Citadel Securities is moving data and algorithm testing to Google Cloud. “We’ve moved virtually all the data that we need for every asset that the firm is involved in . . . all the data that all the researchers need.” (Financial Times)  

Wells Fargo hired Alexandra Barth, co-head of leveraged finance at Deutsche Bank. (Bloomberg) 

Academics are arguing that direct lenders on the whole hardly produce any alpha — or extra compensation over broad market benchmarks. (Bloomberg) 

Hong Kong hedge funds like Infini Capital Management and Arte Capital are setting up in the Middle East. (South China Morning Post) 

Dymon Asia, a multi-strategy fund with eight offices in different Asian markets including Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, plans a new office in Dubai. (Business Insider) 

Attempting to make yourself indispensable may have the opposite effect. (WSJ) 

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com in the first instance. Whatsapp/Signal/Telegram also available (Telegram: @SarahButcher)

Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t.)

author-card-avatar
AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

Sign up to Morning Coffee!

Coffee mug

The essential daily roundup of news and analysis read by everyone from senior bankers and traders to new recruits.

Boost your career

Find thousands of job opportunities by signing up to eFinancialCareers today.
Recommended Articles
Recommended Jobs
Deutsche Bank
Trader - Vice President
Deutsche Bank
New York, United States
DTG Capital Markets
Proprietary Trader (US, remote)
DTG Capital Markets
New York, United States
Caxton Associates
Associate Portfolio Manager Program - Dubai
Caxton Associates
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Options Group
Senior Investment Advisor
Options Group
Singapore

Sign up to Morning Coffee!

Coffee mug

The essential daily roundup of news and analysis read by everyone from senior bankers and traders to new recruits.