In a move that reflects the growing importance of the energy and commodity story in the region, as well as Robert Morse's determination to place his trusted lieutenants in prominent positions, Mark Renton has been appointed head of investment banking for Citigroup, Asia-Pacific.

Renton relocates from New York to Hong Kong to take on the role, in a further sign that top banks are now keen to bring some of their best talent to the region.

Renton's previous job could not have made him more suitable for the assignment in Asia. He joined Citi via Salomon in 1987 and in 1995 moved into the energy franchise, focusing on the oilfield sector. He became head of Citigroup's energy franchise in 2003. This included global energy, power and chemicals.

Given the surfeit of energy and power deals now originating in Asia - whether they be Chinese or Indian companies buying assets or industry reorganizations - the growth of the region and its spiraling energy and commodity needs means that Renton will arrive with a sectoral skillset that is bound to add value.

Citigroup's CEO of CIB, Robert Morse has worked closely with Renton over the years and says, "Mark has had a long and successful career on Wall Street and we look forward to him bringing this experience and expertise to the exciting opportunities we see in Asia."

Renton replaces Gordon Paterson, who will continue to play a senior role in investment banking at Citigroup in New York - and who joined Citigroup from CSFB.