Citi appoints Brian Leach chief risk officer

Source: Citi

Citi today announced that Brian Leach will assume the role of Chief Risk Officer for Citi, reporting to Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit.

Mr. Leach will also become Acting Chief Risk Officer for the Institutional Clients Group. In addition, the company named four new senior managers to the Risk organization - Suneel Bakhshi, Charles Monet, Greg Hawkins, and Adil Nathani - all reporting to Mr. Leach.

In his new role, Mr. Leach will lead Citi's efforts to manage and track all risks undertaken by the company. He will also lead efforts to set strategic risk parameters and will play a critical role in capital allocation to ensure that Citi takes advantage of growth opportunities that meet appropriate risk-return standards. To achieve these goals, he will work closely with Mr. Pandit and other members of Citi senior management.

"Taking intelligent risk is the core of our business. As our industry grapples with one of the most difficult periods in market history, we at Citi are moving aggressively to transform our risk management culture into a significant competitive advantage," Mr. Pandit said. "Brian is a widely respected industry risk veteran, and I am confident that he and our Risk team will lead an independent, best-in-class risk management function that exercises prudent judgment in managing the risks inherent in our business and plays an important role in Citi's capitalizing on emerging growth opportunities."

Jorge Bermudez, a 33-year veteran of Citi, has decided to retire. Over the last three months, Mr. Bermudez has worked closely with senior management on assessing and developing a plan for the risk function going forward.

"I would like to thank Jorge for his excellent stewardship during a difficult transition time for all of us," Mr. Pandit said. "Last October, Jorge informed senior management of his intention to retire, and given the challenges facing the Risk organization, he agreed to take on the leadership of the function. He will apply the same dedication as he works with Brian over the coming months on a new governance structure for the Risk organization."

Citi also announced that Suneel Bakhshi will become Chief Risk Officer of the Global Consumer Group and for Citibank N.A., reporting to Mr. Leach. In this role, Mr. Bakhshi will be responsible for managing risk, including market, credit and operational risks, in these entities. Mr. Bakhshi, whose 25-year career with the company has spanned corporate and commercial banking, derivatives trading, and Risk Treasury, is currently Head of the Global Commercial Bank, Citi Markets & Banking. Prior to his current role, Mr. Bakhshi was Head of Emerging Markets Corporate Banking. He previously held senior roles around the world, including Global Head of Emerging Markets Local Finance, Head of Sales and Trading in Central Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa, Derivatives Trading in Europe, and Derivatives in Japan. Prior to that, Mr. Bakhshi worked for 10 years in various roles in Risk Treasury, including as Head of Middle East Risk Treasury.

Citi announced that Charles Monet will assume responsibility for Risk Oversight of Capital Allocation. Mr. Monet currently serves as an advisor to the co-chairmen of the Basel subcommittee defining regulatory capital requirements for default risk in banks' trading books. He is Chairman of the subcommittee's technical working group, which prepares quantitative analyses of risk and capital issues. Previously, he served as Head of Credit Risk Methodology at Morgan Stanley from 2001 to 2006, and was Head of Risk Methodology Research at JP Morgan & Co from 1996 - 2001. While at JP Morgan, he was responsible for developing and implementing the firm's economic capital model. He holds an M.S. in Management from M.I.T. and a B.A. from Harvard College.

Citi announced that Greg Hawkins will assume responsibility for Risk Oversight of Real Estate and Mortgage Exposure. Dr. Hawkins was an Assistant Professor in Finance at the Business School at the University of California, Berkeley. He joined Salomon Brothers in 1985, starting in Mortgage Research, and eventually becoming Managing Director and co-head of U.S. Fixed Income Arbitrage. He subsequently joined Long Term Capital Management as a founding Partner in 1993. In 2001, he became a Managing Director of Caxton Associates and was Senior Portfolio Manager of Caxton Relative Value Holdings in Greenwich, CT. Dr. Hawkins was among the first in the fixed income markets to develop a new generation of mathematical models to value, trade, and manage large relative value portfolios. These models form the basis of today's most widely used tools in the fixed income markets.

Adil Nathani will assume responsibility for Risk Oversight of Structured Credit. Mr. Nathani is a Managing Director and a member of Old Lane's Fixed Income team. Previously, he served as Managing Director, Group Executive, and a Board Member at IXIS Capital Markets, where he also ran various groups, including Asset Securitization and Finance; Credit Products; Stable Value Programs; and Structured Credit Products. Prior to that, Mr. Nathani spent several years managing fixed income assets at Smith Breeden Associates, AMBAC, and Normandy Asset Management. Mr. Nathani holds a bachelor's degree from University of Bombay, Sydenham College, India, and Master of Business Administration from Fuqua School of Business, Duke University.

Mr. Leach is currently the Chief Risk Officer and Co-Chief Operating Officer of Old Lane. Prior to co-founding Old Lane, Mr. Leach worked for his entire financial career at Morgan Stanley, most recently as Risk Manager of the Institutional Securities Business. From October 1998 to December 1999, he was one of six managers selected from a consortium of 14 global financial institutions to manage the liquidation of Long Term Capital Management and was one of only two who were present for the duration. Upon his return from this assignment, he was named Chief Operating Officer for Morgan Stanley's Fixed Income Division, where he had broad oversight responsibilities for the division's risk, technology, operations and legal functions.

Mr. Leach holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Brown University, and a master's degree in business administration from Harvard Business School.

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