Citigroup Moves 30 Real Estate Staff Under JPMorgan Chase Deal

Citigroup Inc., the third-largest U.S. bank by assets, reorganized a commercial real-estate business it plans to sell, with 30 employees moving to JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Several workers have already left for JPMorgan and the rest will go over the next couple of months, according to an internal Citigroup memo obtained by Bloomberg News and confirmed by Shannon Bell, a spokeswoman for the New York-based bank.

The departures are part of an August deal in which Citigroup sold a $3.5 billion portfolio of commercial and multifamily loans to JPMorgan, also based in New York, for an undisclosed sum, Bell said.

The memo was written by Mark Mason, chief operating officer of Citi Holdings, the division that has been selling the bank’s unwanted assets since its $45 billion government bailout in 2008. The division valued its North American commercial real estate loans at $5.4 billion at the end of the third quarter of 2010, down 50 percent on the previous year.

The head of the commercial real-estate group, Tom Lawyer, is joining JPMorgan as part of the deal. He will be replaced by Curtis McKinney, a regional manager with the bank.

Citigroup Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit slashed the Citi Holdings division’s overall assets by 24 percent to $421 billion in the 12 months that ended in September 2010.

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