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Citigroup beef up German M&A operation

Hendrik Hilgert has become head of Citigroup's mergers and acquisitions team in Germany in a move that some say is the first in a line of defections from German banks.

Hilgert, formerly of Deutsche Bank, may have been attracted to Citigroup's more international perspective as opposed to the more domestic flavour at his former employer. It has long been known that disagreement has existed within the German bank over whether to focus on domestic or international M&A and Deutsche executives last week confirmed they had agreed to focus on the German retail banking market, a move that some say reflects a narrow business culture within the bank.

Hilgert's move to Citigroup is part of a growing trend as investment banks beef up the quality of their teams in Frankfurt in an attempt to promote their presence in the German investment market - traditionally a tough market to crack with its preponderance of mid-cap family-owned companies. Earlier this year Lehman Brothers hired senior managers from Goldman Sachs, while last month Richard Taylor became joint head of Merrill Lynch's investment banking operation in Germany.

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