Citi Hires New Corporate Mergers Head

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Citigroup Inc (C.N) has hired Morgan Stanley banker James von Moltke to head its corporate mergers group in New York, two people familiar with the matter said.

Von Moltke will be in charge of evaluating Citigroup’s acquisitions and major business sales, replacing Vincent Fandozzi, they said. He will report to Chief Financial Officer Edward “Ned” Kelly. Another senior role will be found for Fandozzi.

Citigroup has significant asset sales to complete as it looks to bolster its capital position. The bank announced plans earlier this year to divide its assets into two units — Citicorp, which will house businesses the bank expects to remain in long term, and Citi Holdings, which will hold groups the bank hopes either to sell or wind down.

At Morgan Stanley, von Moltke was a banker covering brokerages, exchanges and financial technology companies. He and Kelly previously worked together at what is now JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N).

Jane Fraser, previously Citigroup’s global head of corporate strategy, mergers and re-engineering, earlier this year moved over to Citigroup’s private bank, where she is chief executive.

Citigroup lost nearly $30 billion last year as it reeled from credit losses and security writedowns. The bank received $45 billion of rescue money from the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program in 2008, which it is not expected to pay back soon.

Von Moltke is related to Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, the Prussian general widely seen as the architect of Otto von Bismarck’s military victories in conflicts such as the Franco-Prussian war, as well as Helmuth James Graf von Moltke, a German who led a resistance group against Adolf Hitler.

Both Morgan Stanley and Citigroup declined to comment.

(Reporting by Dan Wilchins; Editing Bernard Orr, Andre Grenon, Tim Dobbyn)