London: Citigroup’s private banking arm has boosted its British-based operations with a trio of hires to service the growing colony of super rich based in London, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.
Citi Private Bank has hired Joss Mitchell - from rival HSBC - as head of UK business development and James Tussaud - from UBS - to the ultra-high net worth desk, reporting to David Poole, head of Citi’s British private banking business, the memo said.
Mikhail Tabakov will join the London team servicing Russian clients from private investment bank Troika Dialog, reporting to Selim Elgen, head of the central and eastern Europe team, the memo said.
Many of the world’s rich use London as their financial base given its convenient location midway between the Asian and American time zones and its role as a regional banking services hub.
A fiscal regime that does not tax the overseas income or assets of residents not domiciled in Britain adds to London’s appeal to the global wealthy.
Citi Private Bank’s UK team focuses on this international jet set but the new hires will also be expected to expand the business catering to millionaires domiciled in Britain for tax purposes.
The team, which comprises 21 bankers with the new hires, plans to boost the group further with a small number of additional senior hires, a source at the bank told Reuters.
Tabakov’s Russia-focused team forms part of the central, eastern and northern Europe, Africa and Turkey (CENEAT) business headed by Geneva-based Samir Raslan.
Raslan told Reuters in a recent interview he planned to add nine bankers over the next year to specialise in his region, with a particular focus on Russia.
Russians make up a significant proportion of the international rich in London, including some high profile oligarchs such as Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich.
The United Kingdom has the world’s fifth-largest number of millionaires after the United States, Japan, Germany and China according to research published this week by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini. The number of millionaires in Britain grew by 24 percent in 2009.
Citi Private bank, which has reshaped itself since the credit crunch to focus on super rich clients rather than the merely affluent, has set expansion outside its US home market as a strategic priority.