Shirish Apte named Citi CEO for Asia-Pacific

By Arun Kumar, IANS,

Washington : Citibank has named a three-person team to replace Ajay Banga, who held the title of Asia-Pacific CEO and left the firm June 19 to become president and CEO of MasterCard.

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Shirish Apte,56, and Stephen Bird, 42 have been made CEOs for Asia-Pacific, while Shengman Zhang has been named chairman of the firm in the region, effective immediately, Indian American Vikram Pandit led bank announced Monday.

As CEOs, Apte will be responsible for South Asia, which includes India, Australia and New Zealand, and Bird for North Asia. The two will have joint responsibilities for Asia-Pacific’s overall performance, strategy and execution.

Bird, Apte and Shengman, will report to Pandit.

In an internal note to the staff Pandit said: “We see tremendous opportunities in many of these fast-growing markets in Asia-Pacific and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa).”

Apte, 56, moves to Asia-Pacific after guiding Citi in other emerging markets. He served as CEO of Citi’s Central and Eastern Europe region.

Apte has served in several senior management roles in more than 26 years with Citi, including as CEO of Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa Citi markets and banking.

He began his career with Citi as a relationship banker for Citibank India, and later held various assignments in corporate banking, risk management and corporate finance investment banking.

Bird will also continue to have regional product responsibility for retail banking and cards. The other regional product and functional heads will report to both Apte and Bird, and to their respective global heads.

In Asia-Pacific, Zhang will be responsible for forging and expanding relationships with clients, regulators, government officials and employees across the region, the bank said in a statement.

He will also chair the Asia-Pacific executive committee and have responsibility for the governance of the franchise in the region.

The bank has been under a constant barrage of attack for its US operations and has been continuing to put forth Asia as its star, stable growth-engine.

In 2008, Asia-Pacific contributed $15.6 billion in revenues, or about a third of the group’s $52.8 billion revenues. Citi operates in 18 countries in the region.