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by Derek Loosvelt | February 15, 2011


Looking for adventure, to explore new cultures, and for a seven-figure annual compensation figure?

Look no further than Team Pandit -- that is, the new and improved Citigroup, which is currently on an upswing after being knocked to the canvas less than two years ago at the onset of the worldwide financial crisis.

Although Vikram Pandit and gang have fallen in the league tables (it wasn't long ago that Citi regularly showed its mug in the top five of every major investment banking deal category) they're poised for a rebound, and are now rebuilding their teams across the Atlantic, looking to add MDs and directors on the European and Asian continents.

According to Manuel Falco, Citi's co-head of banking in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the firm is "clearly looking for talent," and is "going to hire a lot more in countries and regions where activity is likely to grow quickly, including Russia, Turkey and the Middle East."

Citi famously lost a bunch of big dealmakers back in 2009 and 2010, which atrributed to the firm's slide from No. 3 in EMEA M&A in 2009 to No. 12 in the third quarter of 2010. The firm rebounded in the most recent fourth quarter and finished 2010 at No. 8 in EMEA M&A (largely thanks to its "role in advising Russian telecommunications provider VimpelCom Ltd. on its purchase of Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA in October.")

Already, Citi has added senior executives overseas, poaching bankers from UBS and HSBC to join its European units. Hiring in Russia, though, is somewhat more difficult.

"Russia is one of the hottest markets in the world in terms of cost," explains Falco. "if you want to hire a top quality managing director, that’s going to cost you, so you need to make sure that an enlarged team can really deliver for clients." Reportedly, a top-level Russian banker will cost between $500,000 and $1 million more than a comparable one in London.

Underscoring just how important a market like Russia is these days, consider these stats: "transactions involving companies from the so-called BRIC countries -- Brazil, Russi, India and China -- climbed almost 80 percent last year and accounted for a record 22 percent of the $2.23 trillion of global takeovers."

No doubt Citi will not be sleeping until it gets its share.


(Related: Which Banks Will Be Hiring Across the Atlantic in 2011?)


Filed Under: Finance