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Simmonds’ surprise retirement

When Julian Simmonds, global head of foreign exchange and structured products businesses at Citigroup, announced his decision to retire this May, it sent shockwaves through the bank. Senior executives are thought to be trying to talk Simmonds, who joined Citibank in 1972 and achieved prominence by building its forex business into the undisputed market leader in the 1980s and 1990s, into hanging round a little longer. "No one event has prompted my decision," Simmonds tells Euromoney. "But 29 years is a long, long time in a high pressure position. I have outside interests, as has my wife and I'd like to participate in those with her."

To the cynical ear, this sounds like so much cover. Surely there has been a falling out, or he has been poached away. Simmonds says: "Let me make it clear I am not walking out into another job, though I have strong commercial instincts which may bring me to something else. I am ruling nothing out. I want to make sure the businesses I'm responsible for get transitioned correctly and they will continue to report to me until that is complete."

Could it be that this process of transition, part of further cementing the merger between Citibank and the businesses of Travelers, has helped Simmonds to make his decision? The warrant business he ran is being absorbed into the equities division.

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