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Some Citi DCM bankers might like more love

As Citi prepares to restructure the bank along the lines laid out last week by CEO Jane Fraser (fewer divisions, fewer regional heads, probably a lot of cuts in controls and technology), some people inside the bank say they'd like more appreciation. 

They're in investment grade debt capital markets, one of Citi's most successful and prized businesses. 

"The cash cow at Citi has always been the investment grade bond business," says one insider. "But in the past year, there's been far more emphasis on building out other areas like M&A and leveraged finance."

Others at Citi say the IG DCM business is still absolutely core to its offering. And yet, it's equally the case that there was little mention of investment grade DCM at last year's investor day and that more of the hiring that's taken place at Citi in the past 24 months has involved senior M&A bankers in Citi's "high growth sectors" like tech, fintech and healthcare.

In the first half of the year, Citi's IG debt capital markets (DCM) still ranked fourth globally, down one place on the same period of 2022. 

Some at the bank point to a raft of exits from veteran DCM bankers this year. They include the likes of:  Nick Darrant, Citi's former co-head of fixed income syndicate in EMEA; Scott Schulte, a New York-based MD in investment grade DCM syndicate; Thomas Lundquist, the former head of corporate ECM in Europe; Alex Hayes-Griffin, the former head of UK and Ireland FIG and real estate DCM; Samad Sirohey, the former head of debt financing for EMEA; or Melodie Mair in fixed income debt syndicate in NY.

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Not all the leavers have gone to other jobs. Darrant, for example, is doing charitable work in Rwanda. Hayes-Griffin has founded an as yet indeterminate business called Sublimity Partners and is posting about taking time out. Schulte still says he's at Citi. None of those who've left spoke to us for this article. 

A handful of exits may be inconsequential to Citi's wider IG DCM business, but as Citi's investment bank is restructured under Tyler Dickson, IG people might benefit from more appreciation, particularly at bonus time. "The investment bank has lost its identity a little bit," says one ponderously. 

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Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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