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Foreign Exchange

Citi: Rates business takes its natural place

A year ago Citi was nowhere in rates, but a quick build-out under new management has helped it ride one of the most profitable waves of 2009.

  Andrew Morton, Citi

"Thankfully, the Citi brand is very strong because this is a tough market to be an entrant. At least we didn’t have clients say, ‘so you’re Citi, who are you?’ It was more a case of, ‘So, Citi, where on earth have you been?’"

Andrew Morton, Citi

Andrew Morton’s first year at Citi has passed in a frenzied effort to hire new talent to build businesses that were surprisingly weak there. By focusing so much on credit and structured credit, as well as accumulating a store of toxic waste, the bank risked missing out in the suddenly profitable G10 rates business.

Morton, managing director, global head of G10 rates, risk treasury and finance, is the most senior of 23 colleagues that John Havens hired in just two and a half weeks after Lehman Brothers’ collapse to make sure Citi didn’t miss out entirely. Considering the scale of Citi’s own problems at the time, negotiating those new hires was in itself impressive.

Since arriving late last year Morton has hired nine more managing directors in a relatively low headcount business and he expects each of these to hire more junior staff in 2010.

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