The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Emerging Europe: Citi stands firm in CEE as rivals pull back

Collapsing investment banking volumes have prompted global players to pull back from emerging Europe over the past two years. But Citi’s Jim Cowles, CEO for EMEA, has alternative sources of revenue to fall back on.

Jim Cowles-350

Citi's Jim Cowles, head of EMEA

It would be natural to assume that the collapse of investment banking volumes in any global region would be bad news for the leading players in that market. 

So it is slightly surprising to find the man in charge of Citi’s central and eastern European (CEE) operations in buoyant, not to say bullish, mood. 

“We are pleased with these franchises,” says Jim Cowles, head of EMEA. “Despite a difficult environment over the last couple of years, they are profitable and their operating efficiency levels are above our corporate benchmark.” 

It is hard to overstate just how difficult the environment has been. A combination of Russian sanctions, rising geopolitical risk and weak growth and liquidity has set investment banking in emerging Europe back by more than a decade.

Since 2013, M&A activity has halved, while debt capital markets volumes are down by two-thirds. Equity markets have been even worse affected, with primary supply over the past two years amounting to barely a quarter of levels seen in the early years of the decade.

This might be expected to bear particularly hard on Citi, which dominated DCM and ECM league tables for CEE before the Russia crisis – as indeed it does today – and has a healthy M&A franchise in the region.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree