Hong Kong/London Citi today reaffirmed its commitment to the company's global franchise with the appointment of new regional leaders in Asia Pacific and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). The following appointments are effective immediately:
"In each of the 104 countries where we operate and the dozens more where we do business, our clients and customers deeply value our unique capabilities and global perspectives," said Citi Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit. "In appointing these talented executives to drive our business in Asia and EMEA, I am reaffirming Citi's commitment to these markets and to helping our clients and customers execute on growth opportunities around the world."
In Asia Pacific, Mr. Zhang will be responsible for forging and expanding relationships with clients, regulators, government officials and employees across the region. As CEOs, Mr. Bird will be responsible for Northern Asia and Mr. Apte for Southern Asia. The two will have joint responsibilities for Asia Pacific's overall performance, strategy and execution.
In EMEA, Mr. Mills will continue to be responsible for our business in Western Europe and Africa and Mr. Verme for our business in Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Mr. Mills and Mr. Verme will be jointly responsible for performance, strategy, and execution across EMEA.
Mr. Zhang, 52, had previously served as Vice Chairman of Global Banking and President of Asia Pacific after joining Citi in February 2006 as Vice Chairman of Global Banking and Chairman of the Public Sector Group. He possesses extensive experience in the industry, including 10 years with the World Bank, with four as the Managing Director from 2001 to 2005. In that role, he led the Bank's day-to-day worldwide operations. Mr. Zhang chaired the Bank's Operations Committee, the Sanctions Committee, and the Corporate Committee on Fraud and Corruption Policy, and was the Chairman of the Bank Group's Crisis Management Committee.
Mr. Bird, 42, was most recently Chief Executive Officer for North Asia and Head of Consumer Banking and Global Cards for Asia Pacific. He joined Citi in 1998 and has previously served in Japan as CEO for Credit Cards and Consumer Finance, and as Head of Operations and Technology for the entire Latin America franchise having moved there from Asia Pacific in 2001. Prior to joining Citi, Mr. Bird held senior management positions in GE Capital and British Steel in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Apte, 56, moves to Asia Pacific after guiding Citi in some of the fastest-growing emerging markets as Chief Executive Officer of Citi's Central & Eastern European Region. Mr. Apte has served in several senior management roles in more than 26 years with Citi, including as CEO of Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa (CEEMEA) Citi Markets & 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.
Mr. Mills, 53, was most recently CEO for Western Europe, Middle East and Africa. He previously held the position of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Citi Markets & Banking for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Prior to that, he was Chief Executive Officer of Salomon Smith Barney Asia Pacific and a member of the Salomon Smith Barney Management Committee. In this role, he was responsible for the Firm's Investment Banking, Equity, Fixed Income, Private Client services, and other operations conducted in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the Sub-Continent for the Firm. Mr. Mills has been with Citi for 27 years.
Mr. Verme, 51, was most recently Co-Head of Global Investment Banking, based in Dubai. Prior to that appointment in 2008, he was Head of Global Energy, Power and Chemicals Investment Banking from 2001. During his tenure, the franchise achieved world leadership and executed a number of marquee transactions including the Conoco-Phillips merger, the Sibneft-Yukos merger and several key restructurings. Mr. Verme joined Salomon Brothers in 1994 and worked as Head and later Chairman of Citi's Latin America Investment Banking Group through May 2001.
Citi, the leading global financial services company, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 140 countries. Through its two operating units, Citicorp and Citi Holdings, Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, and wealth management. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com or www.citi.com.