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Citi's transfer of a senior banker from New York to Hong Kong shows how important Asian consumer markets are to the US bank.

Morning Coffee: Citi Hong Kong brings in senior New York banker

Citi has named Gonzalo Luchetti as its new head of retail banking for Asia Pacific, reports Reuters. Luchetti is transferring to Hong Kong from New York and will also continue his current job as Citi's global head of wealth management and insurance for the consumer bank. He fills the gap created by Roy Gori who left Citi last month to become president and chief executive of Manulife Asia.

The fact that Luchetti is performing an international role from Asia reflects the growing importance that Western banks are attaching to capturing market share from Asian consumers. Citi is already at the forefront of this expansion – 12 of its 24 consumer markets are located in the region, according to Finance Asia.

Luchetti’s relocation also demonstrates that [efc_twitter text="banks are still prepared to appoint foreign staff with senior-leadership prowess into Asian jobs"], despite the growing need for local experience and contacts. However, these moves are now largely confined to tried-and-tested internal candidates. In another recent example, Alison Harding-Jones, the veteran UBS London banker, is moving to Hong Kong this month to take up the reins as head of Asia Pacific M&A.

Luchetti is somewhat of a Citi veteran. He’s been there since 2006, according to his LinkedIn profile, joining as an MD from his previous VP role with J.P. Morgan. The early stages of his route to the top in banking were less conventional. After graduating with a computer sciences degree from Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires, Luchetti worked for three years as a software sales representative at IBM. A Stanford MBA and a stint at Bain & Company lead to him joining J.P. Morgan in 2003.

Other big people moves announced in Asia so far this year include the departure of Anita Fung Yuen-mei, chief executive of HSBC Hong Kong, and the resignation of Lisa Friis, Deutsche Bank’s COO of investment banking coverage and advisory for Asia.

Meanwhile:

The outgoing chief executive of Bank of Singapore, Renato de Guzman, has been named Private Banker of the Year by trade magazine Asian Private Banker. (Straits Times)

China’s big four banks are losing market share, says McKinsey survey. (Financial Times)

An unnamed unit of Founder Securities has been given a Hong Kong business licence. (South China Morning Post)

Shanghai Stock Exchange to permit same-day trading for ETFs. (Bloomberg)

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AUTHORSimon Mortlock Content Manager

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