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Citigroup’s European Media Banking Chief Kennish Said to Depart

The headquarters of Citigroup Inc., Canary Wharf
The headquarters of Citigroup Inc, center, sit at Canary Wharf in London this year. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

May 4 (Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc.’s European head of telecommunications, media and technology banking, Bill Kennish, left the firm amid an overhaul of his team, said two people with knowledge of the discussions.

Johannes Fritze, a managing director in the bank’s European real estate team, left separately last week, said the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are private. A spokesman for the bank in London declined to comment. Kennish and Fritze didn’t return calls to their offices seeking comment.

Citigroup, the third-biggest U.S. bank by assets, ranked as the fifth-placed adviser on European mergers and acquisitions this year, down from second in 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The pace of mergers in the region is little changed on last year, with companies announcing $228 billion of takeovers, Bloomberg data show.

Kennish advised Spain’s Telefonica SA on its 17.7 billion-pound ($27 billion) purchase of British mobile-phone operator O2 in 2005, and also counseled Lebanese telephone company Investcom LLC on its $5.5 billion purchase by South Africa’s MTN Group Ltd. in 2006. He may join Macquarie Group Ltd., Australia’s largest investment bank, one of the people said. Fritze is considering moving to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the person said.

Spokeswomen for Macquarie and Goldman Sachs in London declined to comment.

The departures follow those of senior London-based Citigroup bankers including Thomas King and Matthew Ponsonby, who both joined Barclays Capital. In New York, Citigroup proprietary trader Jay Glasser quit to join Nomura Holdings Inc. last week as U.S. lawmakers pressure domestic banks to stop speculating with their own capital.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ambereen Choudhury in London achoudhury@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans in London at at eevans3@bloomberg.net

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