Sanjiv's Singapore sling

Citigroup''s Asian head of investment banking to be named as the firm''s new chief country officer for Singapore.

After a four-year stint as head of Asian investment banking, Sanjiv Misra is to re-locate to Singapore where he will replace fellow Indian Sunil Sreenivasan as chief country officer.

As head of corporate and investment banking for Singapore and Brunei, it is believed Misra will have roughly 5,000 staff reporting into him and a much broader remit as he moves into commercial banking for the first time. Citi has much of its regional treasury and derivatives operations based in Singapore as well as some of its cash management and trade finance operations.

Observers say the move is likely to be announced in an internal memo today (Tuesday). Rumours about who will replace Misra have been circulating for the past month, with Francis Leung currently tipped to be named as his successor.

Leung, is chairman of Citigroup's China operations and if confirmed, the move is likely to be viewed as a consolidation of his power within the firm and of the importance Citi attaches to winning business on the Mainland. Leung first joined Citigroup in Spring 2001 and has since built up a loyal team. This includes Margaret Ren, who joined in August 2001 as one of the firm's top China originators and Frank Slevin, whom Leung brought over from his old firm BNP Paribas Peregrine in March 2002 as head of Hong Kong investment banking.

Misra meanwhile will be re-joining Richard Seow whom he personally hired to run investment banking in Singapore and latterly as head of South East Asia investment banking. Along with Asian ECM head Scott Ferguson, currently on sabbatical, the three are considered within Citi as a mini ex Goldman mafia.

Misra joined Goldman as an associate after finishing an MBA at the Kellog School at Northwestern. In 1992, he transferred to Asia and became country head of Goldman's then fledgling Indian operation. In 1997, he was headhunted to join Citigroup where he became head of Asian equity capital markets and then in 1999, co-head of Asian investment banking.

Sreenivason, whom he replaces in Singapore, was recently made chief country officer for Poland.