Citigroup’s Ybarra Adds Duties as Bank Searches for Revenue

Citigroup Inc. expanded the role of Francisco “Paco” Ybarra, the bank’s head of global markets, to include oversight of security services for investors and other clients as the head of that unit departs.

Ybarra, 51, takes on the extra duties immediately, according to a memo from the bank confirmed by Danielle Romero-Apsilos, a company spokeswoman. Neeraj Sahai, 56, who ran the business, will leave New York-based Citigroup to become president at McGraw Hill Financial Inc.’s Standard & Poor’s Rating Services in January, according to a separate statement.

Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat has sought to cut costs and boost revenue to improve operating efficiency. Revenue from transaction services, which Ybarra will now help oversee, was little changed at $2.61 billion in the third quarter from a year earlier even as expenses rose 3 percent, according to Charles Peabody, a New York-based analyst at Portales Partners LLC.

“It’s clearly a promotion,” Peabody said. “Ybarra is gaining greater visibility within the organization.” Opportunities for more revenue probably will come from selling more products to existing customers or gains in market share, Peabody said.

Transaction services involve holding, moving and financing assets and cash for clients around the world. This includes security services, which provides asset administration, financing and clearing services to customers, and treasury and trade services, which involves managing their cash and supporting their global business. Citigroup is ranked third by assets among U.S. banks.

Shakeup Redux

Ybarra’s added role shows Citigroup’s strategy may be focused on cross-selling to existing customers, Peabody said. The change also could indicate that a management shakeup in April meant to reduce complexity didn’t work, Peabody said.

Jamie Forese, head of the institutional business, eliminated some management reporting lines in April to streamline his business into six units. With today’s realignment, the number drops to five and enhances Ybarra’s stature, Peabody said.

Ybarra sits on the operating committee while Forese’s other direct reports don’t. Those include Tyler Dickson, who oversees capital-markets origination; Raymond McGuire, head of corporate and investment banking; Mark Mason, who runs the private bank; and Naveed Sultan, chief of the treasury and trade solutions business.

Sultan’s business, which was coupled with Sahai’s securities and fund services business under the transaction-services segment in the company’s filings, won’t be affected by this change, Romero-Apsilos said in a phone interview. Ybarra didn’t respond to requests for an interview.

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