- Paco Ybarra, CEO of Citi’s institutional clients group, will leave the bank in the first half of next year, according to a memo seen Thursday by the Financial Times and Bloomberg.
- Citi has not named a replacement for the 36-year veteran. No decision has been made, either, on how the leadership of Citi’s commercial business will be structured, the bank’s CEO, Jane Fraser, said in the memo.
- Ybarra, 61, told the Financial Times the decision to leave was his own and came after a discussion period with Fraser. “This is my retirement from Citi, but I don’t plan to disappear,” Ybarra told the publication. “I don’t think I am just going to play golf, but I don’t know what is next.”
Ybarra’s upcoming departure marks the latest piece of an executive shuffle Citi has seen so far this year. The bank in March named its personal banking and wealth management chief, Anand Selva, as its next chief operating officer. He replaced Karen Peetz, the bank’s chief administrative officer, who was set to retire in May.
Mark Shafir, Citi’s co-head of global mergers and acquisitions, also retired from the bank in May, leaving Cary Kochman to lead the unit.
Citi pulled off a win in its shuffle, too — persuading then-Merrill Lynch President Andy Sieg to join Citi as its next global wealth chief.
Fraser, for her part, has telegraphed that she may attempt to cut costs by removing a layer of upper management.
“I expect that we’ll complete our assessment and be in a position to share decisions with you in the coming months,” she wrote in Thursday’s memo. “In the meantime, I know Paco and his leadership team will remain fully focused on delivering our priorities and serving our clients with excellence.”
Ybarra told the Financial Times he would be “sticking around to be part of those discussions about the future leadership of Citi’s institutional business,” but added he doesn’t “know what the result of that will be.”
Ybarra joined Citi in 1987 as a management associate in Madrid, and rose through the ranks to become co-head of the bank’s global fixed-income business, then global head of markets. Former Citi CEO Michael Corbat named Ybarra CEO of the bank’s institutional clients group in 2019.
Ybarra ranked as Citi’s second-highest-paid executive, behind only Fraser, according to the bank’s March proxy filing. His compensation suffered a “downward adjustment” in connection with $200 million the bank took in penalties over employees’ use of unapproved messaging platforms to conduct company business and Citi’s failure to keep accurate records of those communications.
Fraser on Thursday credited Ybarra for helping to “drive the creation and implementation of our refreshed strategy,” giving the bank “meaningful progress on [its] transformation” — the bank’s term for technological integration and upgrade.
“Knowing that these initiatives have taken hold and are progressing across the bank, Paco feels that now is the right time to make this change,” Fraser wrote. “Our bank is undoubtedly a better place because of all that Paco has contributed, and he will always have our deep and enduring gratitude.”