Citigroup Said to Shake Up Europe Equities Unit as Connolly Goes

Citigroup Inc. promoted Imraan Moola and Rory Hill to run equity-derivatives trading in Europe, replacing the region’s equities boss Ronan Connolly, two people familiar with the matter said.

Connolly exited Citigroup after his unit underperformed, said the people, who requested anonymity because details of the overhaul aren’t public. Moola and Hill are assuming Connolly’s duties for equity derivatives. The New York-based bank also hired Yonatan Gozdanker earlier this month to take on Connolly’s responsibilities for cash equities.

The shakeup is Citigroup’s latest attempt to improve the performance of its equities division after new Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat, 52, pledged to make the bank more efficient. The equities unit, run from London by Derek Bandeen, is among the smallest of the top 10 global investment banks, according to research from analytics firm Coalition Ltd.

Jeffrey French, a spokesman for Citigroup in London, declined to comment.

Connolly, who joined Citigroup in 2008, also oversaw equities-trading in the Middle East and Africa. The bank doesn’t disclose equities-trading revenue for the region. Global sales in the first quarter, excluding accounting adjustments, fell 9.8 percent to $826 million from the year-earlier period.

Derivatives Intelligence, a newsletter published by Euromoney Institutional Investor Plc, reported Connolly’s departure earlier this week. Financial News reported Moola and Hill’s appointments earlier today.

Citigroup’s global revenue from equities-trading tumbled 35 percent to $2.45 billion in 2011 from the previous year, leading Bandeen to change management and shutter a proprietary-trading unit. Revenue was little changed in 2012.

Merrill, JPMorgan

Connolly’s term with Citigroup ended yesterday, according to Financial Conduct Authority records in the U.K. He previously worked for Merrill Lynch & Co., the investment bank purchased by Bank of America Corp. in 2009, and JPMorgan Chase & Co., the records show.

Moola joined Citigroup in 2010 after roles with Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Deutsche Bank AG and Credit Suisse Group AG. Hill worked with JPMorgan and Citadel LLC, the hedge-fund firm founded by Ken Griffin, the records show.

Hill said he didn’t immediately have a comment on the moves when reached by phone, and Moola declined to comment. An e-mail sent to Connolly bounced back as undeliverable and a man answering the phone at his office said Connolly can’t be reached there. A personal phone number couldn’t immediately be found in two online public directories.

Equity derivatives are contracts whose values are linked to underlying equities such as options and futures. Cash equities-trading involves the buying and selling of common shares.

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