Citigroup replaces chief risk officer after just three months 

Citigroup has announced the appointment of Brian Leach as the firm's new chief risk officer (CRO), just three months after the bank appointed Citi veteran Jorge Bermudez to the same position.

Leach, currently CRO and co-chief operating officer at Old Lane, the multi-strategy hedge fund acquired by Citi in April 2007, will also assume the title of acting risk officer for the institutional clients group. He will report directly to Citi chief executive Vikram Pandit, who headed Old Lane prior to the acquisition. Leach will be based in New York.

He replaces Bermudez, who has only been in the CRO hot seat for 105 days. In a statement, Citi revealed that Bermudez had planned to retire in October 2007 but agreed to extend his 33-year stint at the bank until a more permanent appointment could be made. He will retire once Leach has fully settled into his new role.

Bermudez himself replaced retiree Dave Bushnell as CRO. Bushnell decided to step down as CRO after 22 years at Citi in November 2007 following the $3.55 billion subprime-related third-quarter writedown that also put paid to Chuck Prince's tenure as chief executive. That loss was itself subsequently eclipsed by the $18.1 billion markdown the bank recorded in the last quarter of 2007.

In addition to Leach, four other senior managers have been appointed to Citi's risk structure as part of a wider reorganisation. Suneel Bakhsi, currently head of global commercial banking at Citi Markets & Banking, will become CRO of the global consumer group for Citibank North America.

Charles Monet, currently serving as an adviser to the co-chairmen of the Basel subcommittee defining regulatory capital for Citi's trading book, will assume responsibility for risk oversight of capital allocation.

Greg Hawkins will head risk oversight of real estate and mortgage exposure, having joined Citi from Connecticut-based Caxton Associates, where he was a senior portfolio manager for Caxton Relative Value Holdings.

Finally, Adil Nathani, currently a member of Old Lane's fixed-income team, will assume responsibility for risk oversight of structured credit.

All four will report directly to Leach and be based in New York.

See also:Citigroup appoints new chief executive
Change at top as Citi sees writedowns
Citigroup downgraded after monumental losses
Q4 writedown estimates raised for Citi, Merrill and JP Morgan

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