Citi’s new head of banking Raghavan begins as CEO hails intensity

By Thomson Reuters Jun 4, 2024 | 10:59 AM

By Tatiana Bautzer

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Viswas Raghavan joined Citigroup as its new head of banking this week in New York, the lender said on Tuesday, after it hired the former head of investment banking from JPMorgan this year.

Citi’s CEO Jane Fraser has expressed high hopes for Raghavan as she seeks to turn around the company and revitalize its division catering to multinational corporations.

In a Linkedin post on Tuesday, Fraser welcomed the executive to the bank, adding a photo of both at Citi’s headquarters in New York. “His decision to join Citi reflects our ability to attract the best talent to our firm”, she said in the post.

In a shareholders meeting in April, the CEO said she was delighted to welcome the executive and added, “We look forward to the added intensity he will no doubt bring.” Two sources who worked with him described Raghavan, who climbed JPMorgan’s ranks from capital markets, as a demanding manager, with one noting his confident style. They declined to be identified discussing personnel matters. Citi declined to comment.

Citi’s investment banking revenue in the first quarter was $903 million, half of the $2 billion JPMorgan reaped in the same period.

Citi’s unit “can use a revamp,” Wells Fargo analyst Mike Mayo wrote in a note in February when Raghavan’s hire was announced. The executive “could be attracted to Citi given its large global footprint,” taking sole responsibility over a business line, and facing easier performance comparisons relative to the company’ history, Mayo wrote. The stock is his top pick.

Citigroup has been the fifth or sixth largest global bank in investment banking revenue over the last five years, according to Dealogic rankings. Its share in global revenue has been 4.8% this year so far, up from 4.1% in 2023. The other large U.S. rivals have investment banking market share above 6%.

Chief Financial Officer Mark Mason has said in recent earnings conference calls that he expects Citi market share to increase by up to 30% in 2024.

(Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer in New York, additional reporting by Saeed Azhar in New York, Stefania Spezzati and Andres Gonzalez in London; editing by Lananh Nguyen and Josie Kao)