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Citigroup Hires Sumitomo Mitsui’s Jono to Head Japan Bank

March 30 (Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc. hired Kazuya Jono, a former executive at Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc., to head its banking operations in Japan, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News.

Citibank Japan Ltd.’s board this afternoon approved his appointment as chief executive officer, succeeding Peter Eliot, who will become president of the Japanese holding company, according to the document. Mika Nemoto, a Tokyo-based spokeswoman at Citigroup, confirmed the contents of the memo.

“Citi management and I consider Japan to be a strategically important market,” Citibank N.A. Chief Executive Officer Eugene McQuade, who is in Tokyo today, said in the memo.

Citigroup is seeking to bolster the Japanese unit’s local governance and management after the Financial Services Agency punished the New York-based lender for at least the third time in seven years in December following regulatory breaches.

Jono, 57, will join Citibank on June 1. He has 35 years of experience in the Japanese banking industry, and held positions in corporate banking, retail banking and risk management at Sumitomo Mitsui.

Citigroup had been seeking a Japanese national to run the local banking unit to ensure the person is familiar with the nation’s rules and retail market, two people familiar with the matter said in December.

To contact the reporter on this story: Takahiko Hyuga in Tokyo at thyuga@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net

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