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Citi Rushes to Replace Corbat in EMEA Top Job

Citigroup's new boss Mike Corbat is rushing to plug the gap he left at the helm of the U.S. bank's European business, a major hub for investment banking income but which still lags other regions by revenue.

Some experience of investment banking is likely to be a key attribute for the job, despite the view among some insiders that Corbat's solid track record in the corporate and commercial parts of the bank might herald plans to tone down riskier parts of the business.

Securities and banking is EMEA's biggest revenue-driver. In the third quarter this area brought in more revenue than the equivalent investment banking unit in the United States, despite the euro zone woes that have bogged down business in the region.

But despite efforts to grow again in areas such as debt capital markets, where the bank lost ground in EMEA after it was crippled by huge losses in the 2008 financial crisis, Citi slipped behind EMEA rivals by investment banking fees in the first nine months of the year.

It is now in tenth place, well below U.S. rival JPMorgan , the leader in EMEA, Thomson Reuters data shows.

Part of the overhaul of Citi's investment bank has included drastically reducing its reach by cutting its 40,000 client list to focus more closely on 5,000 clients globally, with an even smaller portion designated as core.

The bank has also cut several hundred investment banking jobs, including in a big round last December.

But EMEA lags other regions in businesses that are key for Citi, however, especially in consumer banking, where revenues are well behind Latin America and Asia.

Copyright 2012 by Reuters. All rights reserved.

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