Citi Snags Barclays Equity Trading Chief After Year in Role

(Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc. poached Fater Belbachir from Barclays Plc to spearhead its global equities trading operation, less than a year after he joined the British bank for the same role, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The U.S. lender is seeking to boost its standing in equities trading, where it’s lagged behind peers and struggled to boost revenue in recent years. Belbachir joined Barclays last June after the ouster of investment bank chief Tim Throsby. Stephen Dainton was promoted to global head of markets after Throsby left the bank, and Belbachir took Dainton’s old role.

Belbachir’s departure is a setback for Barclays at a time when Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley has been pushing ahead with changes at the closely watched investment bank, a key part of his strategy to drive growth. The CEO has linked his reputation to the success of the trading unit, which was criticized as inefficient by the activist investor Edward Bramson last year.

Staley has been investing in the bank’s equities business, including additions to electronic-trading platforms and a series of expensive hires from his old U.S. employer, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Belbachir joined Barclays after more than a decade at JPMorgan amid a management shakeup set off by Throsby’s exit. Earlier this year, Staley tapped another JPMorgan veteran, Paul Leech, to lead the European equities business for Barclays. Barclays reported strong results from its corporate and investment bank in the first quarter, with revenue from equities trading increasing 21%.

A Barclays representative declined to comment on Belbachir’s departure.

Citi Trading

For Citigroup, adding Belbachir marks a renewed focus on putting its equities business on stronger footing. In 2016, the firm set out to increase its equities market share, hoping that could help add $1 billion in revenue. While Citigroup made a small jump in standings, finishing last year with a sixth-place ranking in equities trading globally, the extra revenue hasn’t materialized.

In his new role as global head of equities, Belbachir will oversee the bank’s equity cash, equity derivatives, prime finance and multi-asset group units. He will work alongside Okan Pekin, who was named global head of securities services, which includes custody and fund services and foreign exchange prime brokerage.

“We have decided to organize our equities and securities services business under two leaders,” Carey Lathrop and Andy Morton, co-heads of Citigroup’s markets and securities services division, said in a memo to employees on Monday, saying that the move will “allow for greater focus and accountability.”

Dan Keegan, who had previously been global co-head of equities and securities services, will continue to help oversee Citigroup’s entire North American markets and securities services division. As part of this role, Keegan will help craft the bank’s plans for returning workers to Citigroup offices as the coronavirus outbreak begins to ebb.

Dan’s leadership “will be particularly integral going forward as we carefully plan our strategy and operations post-pandemic,” Lathrop and Morton said in the memo.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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