Citigroup Hires Kris Van Broekhoven to Run Commodity Team

Citigroup Inc., the third-biggest U.S. bank by assets, hired Kris Van Broekhoven from Deutsche Bank AG as global head of a new commodity-trade-financing unit.

Van Broekhoven, whose group helps trading companies finance commodity purchases, will be based in London and initially focus on the energy industry, the bank said in a statement. He will report to John Ahearn, global head of trade, and Sam Sehgal, head of trade finance for Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Citigroup’s transaction-services division is targeting commodity deals as Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit seeks to boost revenue at the New York-based lender. Profit at the unit, which says it handles more than $3 trillion in transactions each day, rose 8 percent to $1.83 billion for the first half of 2012, compared with the same period last year.

The bank also hired Georges Romano from Credit Agricole SA to head the export and agency finance business for Latin America, it said. Ae Kyong Chung was named global head of the export and agency finance group.

Some European banks have pulled back from lending to commodities traders, creating opportunities for banks such as Citigroup, according to Jack Scoville, vice president at Price Futures Group Inc. in Chicago.

“Those guys kind of pulled out of the market,” Scoville said in a phone interview. “Citi and whoever else is doing it is kind of filling into a hole that’s been created there.”

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