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Citigroup Hires Ex-Citadel Executive Boyle for Asia Derivatives

Citigroup Inc., the third-biggest U.S. bank by assets, hired former Citadel LLC executive James Boyle to head equity derivatives trading in Asia as the bank overhauls the unit amid a revenue slump.

Boyle, who will report to Asia equities trading chief Joseph Chang, previously oversaw U.S. equities at Citadel, the $12 billion hedge fund run by Kenneth Griffin, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News. Danielle Romero-Apsilos, a bank spokeswoman, confirmed the memo’s contents.

“We continue to grow our Asian trading capabilities and the capacity to service Citi’s institutional, corporate and retail client franchise,” Chang said in the memo.

Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit, 55, and global equities head Derek Bandeen are shaking up the stock-trading unit after revenue plunged 21 percent last year to $2.76 billion, the biggest drop among the five largest Wall Street firms. Bandeen this week appointed new global heads of equity derivatives, cash equities and “Delta One” trading.

Boyle led global equity derivatives trading at Merrill Lynch & Co. before joining Citadel, according to the memo. He left the Chicago-based hedge fund as part of an exodus of senior executives. He was replaced in October 2010 by Brad Kurtzman, who has since departed and is now Citigroup’s head of equity derivatives trading in the U.S.

The equity-derivatives unit trades in contracts whose values are based on underlying securities, such as common stock. The business contributed to about half of Citigroup’s revenue decline last year, Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach said Jan. 17.

Citigroup doesn’t disclose the performance of its Asia equities-trading business. Income from continuing operations in Asia at the securities and banking division, which includes equities-trading, fell 21 percent to $898 million last year.

Boyle’s hiring was reported earlier this week by Derivatives Intelligence, a newsletter published by Euromoney Institutional Investor Plc.

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