Citi hires ex-Fidelity Asia CEO as senior adviser

The bank has hired former Fidelity Asia CEO Chris Ryan as managing director and senior adviser for investor services within its Global Transaction Services business. He is Citi’s most senior hire this year as it strives to build out across the region.

  • 15 Apr 2010
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US bank Citi has hired ex-Fidelity Asia CEO Chris Ryan as senior adviser for investor services in its Global Transaction Services (GTS) business, can exclusively reveal.

Ryan joins as managing director based in Hong Kong in a newly created role at the bank, where he will be helping to develop initiatives and grow the firm’s client base across Asia-Pacific.

GTS is split into two business lines: Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS), run regionally by Sridhar Kanthadai (see story), and Securities & Fund Services (SFS), whose Asia head is David Russell. The Asia-Pacific GTS business is run by Anthony Nappi.

The capture of Ryan can be considered a considerable coup for Citi, given that he has 27 years’ experience in the asset management industry, much of it in Asia.

In an interview with, Russell described Ryan as “one of the highest profile guys in asset management in Asia”.

He added: “He has been in the region for 20-plus years and brings with him not just client relationships that he has built up over a number of years, but also knowledge of the developments in different markets.

“After all, this is an industry that is evolving rapidly in Asia. Chris will be helping with new products and opening new doors. He will be working in an advisory capacity and this forms part of our build-out.”

The SFS business provides services to investor clients, including sovereign wealth funds and central banks, and has approximately 1,000 staff in Asia-Pacific, some 250 of whom are client-facing.

Russell says he is looking to increase his team by about 10% this year, or 100 people, and that Citi has already hired 15 to 20 staff in this area in 2010.

Further, he confirmed that another managing director would be joining the firm in May after a period of gardening leave, and that he was in the final stages of selecting another MD for the business.

Asked about growth plans, he said Citi was expanding “across the board”. One area will be in alternative investments services, or servicing the increasing band of hedge funds and private equity funds that are setting up across the region.

Russell noted: “Asia’s asset pool is growing significantly and our business is servicing those assets. This is an important business for Citi.”

The GTS business is very firmly at the heart of Citi’s culture. After its state bail-out during the financial crisis, Citi is in the process of winding down Citi Holdings, a collection of non-core businesses it acquired or built over time, and growing Citi Corp., which includes its transaction services business.

More specifically, Citi CEO Vikram Pandit has set the goal that its services business should at some point make up one third of the company, from about 12% at present.

Last year GTS reported net revenues of US$9.8 billion globally, a 2% year-on-year decline, and an 11% rise in net income to US$3.7 billion. It came against total Citi revenues of US$80.28 billion for the year.

In Asia-Pacific, GTS reported revenues of over US$2.5 billion, meaning that the region accounts for about 25% of the business globally.

Prior to joining Citi, Ryan was CEO and managing director of Fidelity Asia, where he was responsible for Fidelity International’s businesses in Asia ex-Japan.

He joined Fidelity in early 2008 from ING Investment Management, where he was CEO for Asia-Pacific. The business has more than US$100 billion under management, over 1,500 staff and was present in 11 countries.

Prior to that Ryan held leadership roles with HSBC Asset Management, where he was responsible for the bank’s retail fund business across Asia-Pacific.

  • 15 Apr 2010

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