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Meet the 10 most interesting new MDs in Citi's ICG Group

As we reported last week, Citi recently promoted a new round of managing directors (MDs). You can see the full list of 178 new MDs in Citi's Institutional Clients Group here.

Citi MDs are very good people to know. After a year of exceptional performance,  Citi is looking like the top U.S. investment bank in the world.  If you want to get in with the next generation of Citi leaders, you might want to familiarize with Citi's new MD class, starting with the 13 particularly notable members listed below.

1. Sonali Das Theisen, global head of market structure and data science, New York

Sonali Das Theisen is a woman to watch. A former CDS trader at Goldman Sachs, she joined Citi as a credit trader from Barclays Capital in 2013 and is now Citi's global head of market structure and data science. As the bank's huge credit trading business adapts to the world of machine learning, Das Theisen will be at the helm. In an interview last year, she predicted a "hybrid" trading model: "One where humans are still very much needed, but are informed in their decision-making by objective, reliable data on a scale not yet seen."

2. David Mitchell, head of the quantitative analysis centre, Hungary

If you work for Citi in London you may not be familiar with David Mitchell. However, Mitchell is a man to know: he heads Citi's market quantitative analysis centre in Budapest. 

Much as banks like Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse are mining the quantitative talent on offer in Poland, Citi has been busy building a quant hub in Hungary. Mitchell's promotion suggests the bank intends to focus more heavily on Budapest in future.

3. Matt Zhang, European head of ABS trading, London 

The baby-faced Zhang is Citi's head of European asset backed securitization (ABS) trading. He joined the bank in 2007 after graduating from the London School of Economics.

Despite being promoted to MD at Citi, Zhang is making time to spend two years studying a real estate course at Cambridge University.  Citi ranks third in securitization trading globally according to research firm Coalition. 

4. Israel Halpert, tech banker, New York/San Francisco

Halpert is a rising star technology banker. Hired from UBS seven years ago after graduating with an MBA from Wharton in 2007, Halpert has worked on an impressive list of deals involving everything from Facebook to eBay and Softbank's huge Vision Fund.  Citi set out to expand its coverage of large tech companies five years ago when it Ahired in Herb Yeh from Bank of America Lynch.  Halpert is testimony to the bank's success.

5. Malte Hoppe, head of ECM for Germany and Austria, Frankfurt

Citi has chosen Frankfurt as the location for its EU-based broker dealer business after Brexit. As the U.S. bank chases secondary trading volumes in the eurozone, its primary markets business is likely to become more significant. As head of equity capital markets for Germany and Austria, Malte Hoppe will be the man bringing the volume to the bank's German speaking equities business.

6. Sam Baig, head of electronic trading, London 

Citi hired Baig as its head of liquidity strategy in 2014.  The former head of European operations at Redi Technologies, which was acquired by Goldman Sachs, Baig has been at the forefront of Citi's investment in electronic equities execution.  His remit includes includes machine learning and a product called OPTiMUS, which chooses the optimal algo to use for clients' particular orders and trading strategies in light of market conditions.

7. Jia Chen, co-head of correlation trading, New York

35 year-old Chen is another star female trader in this year's MD class. She joined Citi in 2005 after completing a dual degree in computer science and finance at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Chen has made a name for herself in the resurgent synthetic CDO market. Bloomberg describes her as, "a numbers-focused wonk with an uncanny understanding of the ins-and-outs of structured credit," and, "a hard-nosed negotiator." She left banking in 2009 when deals dried up after the credit crisis, but came back a year later.

8. Al S'Aeed, product manager of Citi Velocity, London 

S'Aeed is the London-based product manager for Citi Velocity, Citi's institutional platform for FX, rates and credit trading. First launched in 2012 but updated frequently since, Velocity offers Citi's clients access to proprietary research, real-time execution and post-trade services. Every bank is trying to improve clients' experience of accessing research and execution directly and Velocity is considered one of the most innovative and best established products on the market.

9. Joseph Narens, high yield municipal bond trader, LA

Narens is notable for the speed of his rise. After graduating with a distinction from Harvard in 2009, he spent nearly three and a half years at PIMCO in NY before joining Citi in 2013. A credit researcher at PIMCO, Narens is now Citi's co-head of municipal credit analytics and a lead high yield municipal bond trader

10. Lorenzo Leccesi, head of UK equity derivative sales and cross-asset solutions, London

Citi hired Lecessi from J.P. Morgan in November 2016. Little more than a year later, the bank has now rewarded him with a promotion. Citi is seeking to build its presence in equity derivatives trading after its former head resigned in 2016. Citi hired in Quentin Andre as global head of equities structuring for investor clients from Goldman Sachs in March 2017.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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