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Morning Coffee: Citi's brand new MDs show who's special now. Banking IT consultant accused of murdering hostess

After Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, Citigroup has become the latest to announce who's made managing director (MD) for 2018. Business Insider has procured Citi's list of 125 people, of whom 37 are in banking, capital markets and advisory, 54 are in trading, seven are in technology and operations and the remainder are doing other things (eg. private banking and "international franchise management".) Few are women, most have decades of experience, several are Citi lifers.

As ever, though, the people banks choose to promote to their highest levels are reflective of their priorities, and in the case of Citi a few patterns emerge. Firstly, Citi is all about equity derivatives trading. This year, it promoted Henry Yeh, a director of corporate equity derivatives trading in New York, Nicholas Cons, an equity derivatives quantitative analyst (also in New York), Robert Stewart, head of exotics trading for APAC, Robert Smolen, head of EMEA equity exotics and hybrids trading (who was hired from J.P. Morgan in September 2017), and Vikas Sharma, a director of prime finance and delta one. The list also features Seok Jeong, the bank's head of Americas flow volatility trading, who joined from J.P. Morgan in May 2018.

In technology, Citi's promotions reflect the bank's emphasis on data and trading technology. The lucky few include Nadir Azim, head of reference data in EMEA, Amit Rijhsinghani, global head of central risk book and market making technology in New York, and David Griffiths, global head of equity risk and equity derivative technology in London.

Elsewhere in trading, Citi's elevated Michele Cancelli, its global head of product development in its quant investment strategies group (hired from Goldman two years ago), and John Loizides, an algo trader. Citi's new female MDs include Maggie Wang, whom it hired from J.P. Morgan in 2014 to head CLOs and CDO strategy.

In investment banking, tech-focused bankers have been fortunate. Mark Litz, the EMEA head of fintech is on the list. So too is JX Toh, the head of TMT investment banking in Hong Kong, Jeff Ard, a global technology banker, and Matt Sutton, who focused on tech corporate banking in San Francisco.

So, who's not on the Citi 2018 MD list? There seems to be a conspicuous lack of people from Citi's cash equities business. Blame MiFID II. Somewhat lacking too are old-fashioned credit and rates traders, although Alexis Serero, head of investment grade credit trading in Europe is on there. Even so, the special people at Citi this year appear to come from a few privileged groups - equity derivatives traders in particular.

Separately, a banking IT consultant stands accused of a murder in the UK that has resonances of the Rurik Jutting case in Asia.  Zahid Naseem, a consultant who appears to have had a long career in the City of London, stands accused of brutally murdering a 29 year-old hostess.

48 year-old Naseem, who reportedly earned up to £250k ($316k) a year, is in court this week. He denies the murder. After allegedly killing Christina Abbotts, he reportedly called his partner (who also appears to work in banking) and said, "It's too late, I'm sorry, life isn't going to work for me."  When police arrived, Naseem was reportedly lying on the couch in a state of semi-consciousness, although medics who examined him thought his condition was feigned. He told police: "I'm not some hyper high-functioning psychopath creating a story for you a-la Silence of the Lambs." The case continues.


German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing are looking for ways of merging Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank. (Bloomberg) 

Deutsche Bank's transgressions: "We are not talking about isolated cases but about a multitude of issues that habitually pop up in different business areas all across the bank. The problem is that there’s a clear pattern.” (Financial Times) 

In 2012 Deutsche Bank wanted to hire Tim Leissner, the former Goldman Sachs senior partner in south-east Asia now embroiled in the 1MDB scandal. (Financial News) 

Tidjane Thiam says things are not going well for Credit Suisse's APAC trading business. "We see lower activity both in global markets and APAC markets. More in APAC markets -- you have seen the correction in Shanghai and Shenzhen, which is actually quite brutal. That leads to lower activity." (Bloomberg) 

Credit Suisse's Asia chief said client activity in private banking and trading was the worst in 10 years in the fourth quarter. (Financial Times) 

Morgan Stanley raised $1.4bn for a new investment fund that will source deals using the bank's investment bankers and wealth managers. (Bloomberg) 

Barclays wants to double its workforce in Ireland to 300 by the end of next year. (RTE) 

Crypto companies are laying off staff. Blockchain venture firm ConsenSys is cutting13% of its staff. Steemit, a firm that runs a blockchain-based social network has laid off 70%. (WSJ) 

Professor Alice Gast, the head of London's Imperial College, earned £433k ($539k) last and was given use of an official residence with a market rent of £120k. (Financial Times) 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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