Citi has promoted Debashish ("Debu") Dutta Gupta to head of investments for its wealth management businesses In Asia-Pacific.

In his new role he will oversee investments across equities, fixed income, foreign exchange, structured products, investment funds and alternative investments, as well as the investment analysis and advice group. He will also be responsible for the private bank's treasury and banking team and the investments advisory and sales unit. Covering both the private bank and the consumer bank, Dutta Gupta will lead a 150-strong investment team.

Dutta Gupta, who was re-hired by Citi last year to head capital markets for the wealth management arm in the region, will continue to be based in Hong Kong. He will report jointly to Judy Hsu, who heads retail banking for Asia-Pacific: Aamir Rahim, who is the chief executive of Citi private bank in Asia-Pacific; and to Shantanu Rastogi. Rastogi was promoted to global head of investments for the private bank on August 14. He was earlier head of investments for Citi global wealth management, international.

The US bank provides wealth management services to affluent clients with a minimum of $100,000 in assets under management through Citigold, and Citi private bank provides private banking services to high-net-worth individuals with a minimum net worth of $10 million. Citi has more than 500,000 affluent Citigold clients and more than 6,000 private banking clients.

Specialists commented that Citi has done well in wealth management in Asia recently, managing to both attract new client assets and deliver good returns on existing AUM.

Asia is growing in importance for many wealth management firms as the region is home to many of the world's new rich. In the recent financial crisis, private banking clients in Asia have also been more stable in the sense that they have had more liquidity than elsewhere in the world, their wealth base has been more stable and they have seen less wealth destruction, said sources.

Meanwhile, Citi's private bank in Asia-Pacific has benefited from a team which has been stable, at a time when the industry has gone through a great deal of turmoil, said sources. Private banks operating in what were hitherto considered tax havens are having to re-evaluate their strategies in the aftermath of far-reaching changes in the approach to banking secrecy. The market has also been rife with news that some players, such as ING, are exploring the opportunity to exit their wealth management platforms in Asia. The Royal Bank of Scotland remains committed to private banking globally through the Coutts brand but has exited retail wealth in some Asian countries.

Dutta Gupta began his career with Citi in India in 1992 after an MBA. He worked with the bank across India, Singapore and Hong Kong for 15 years, in the foreign exchange, treasury, derivatives, credit trading and fixed-income departments. He left Citi in 2007 when he was co-head of emerging markets credit trading for the Asia-Pacific region to join Lehman Brothers in London as the head of credit trading and structuring for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Dutta Gupta rejoined Citi in November last year.