Citigroup Hires Morgan Stanley’s Kato to Lead Japan Equities

  • Most senior addition in latest round of expansion in Tokyo
  • Kato will oversee equity sales, trading and execution

Citigroup Inc. hired Takaaki Kato from Morgan Stanley as co-head of equity markets in Japan, its latest effort to bolster its stock trading business in the country.

Kato will join Citigroup Global Markets Japan Inc. on Oct. 18, and will be responsible for the equity operation in Japan, which includes sales, trading and execution, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News.

He is the most senior addition to the equity team since Citigroup began strengthening its Japan business for corporate clients and institutional investors following its exit from retail banking in the nation. The New York-based bank has recruited more than 10 equity analysts, economists, traders and bankers in Japan since April.

Kato started his career at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. after graduating from Harvard University in 1997. He worked in equity and derivative sales for 13 years in Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong, the memo shows. Mika Nemoto, a Tokyo-based spokeswoman for Citigroup, confirmed the contents of the document.

Japanese shares have rallied in recent weeks as the yen stemmed its advance. The benchmark Topix index climbed to a four-month high on Tuesday, paring this year’s decline to 12 percent.

Morgan Stanley

Kato joined Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong in 2010, and moved to Tokyo in 2013, where he was responsible for high-touch cash, electronic execution and programs at Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities Co., a joint venture between the U.S. bank and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. He was a managing director at the firm.

Citigroup hired Jon Omori, former head of sales trading at Barclays Plc in Tokyo, in June to lead its equity execution business in Japan. Three people, including a sales trader, joined the firm’s equity division in July and August.

The U.S. bank plans to move its Japan headquarters from Tokyo’s Shin-Marunouchi Building to the Otemachi Park Building, which is under construction, in the second half of next year, people familiar with the matter said last month.

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