Citigroup hires BofA Merrill’s head Andy Sieg to lead wealth unit

By Lananh Nguyen and Jaiveer Shekhawat

(Reuters) -Citigroup Inc hired Andy Sieg to lead its global wealth arm, the lender said on Thursday, from Bank of America Corp, where he led the Merrill Wealth Management unit.

Sieg has “a track record of driving growth” and “deep experience in the U.S.,” where Citi aims to grow, CEO Jane Fraser said in the hiring announcement. “Our team is on a mission to transform Citi — and he is highly driven and motivated to play a central role in our firm’s leadership.”

The wealth business is a core part of Citi’s strategy and will help to diversify its business by bringing in more revenue from client fees.

Two years ago, Citigroup unified its various wealth businesses into a single organization led by Jim O’Donnell that included its private bank and personal wealth management divisions. For six months while Sieg is on required leave, O’Donnell will remain in the role before becoming executive vice chairman.

Fraser signaled the bank’s intention to become a global leader in wealth management at its investor day last year.

While Citigroup has a wider international reach than many U.S. rivals, it faces tough competition from JPMorgan Chase & Co and Bank of America, while UBS Group AG, HSBC, Standard Chartered are highly competitive in Asia.

Sieg was a member of Bank of America’s management committee, running an $18 billion business with $2.8 trillion in client balances. He led the 25,000-person “thundering herd” of financial advisers named for Merrill’s famous bull logo.

Sieg joined Merrill Lynch in 1992 and had served as its president since 2017, with a four-year break in which he worked in Citi’s wealth group from 2005 to 2009.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to build a leading wealth management business at the world’s most global bank at a time of massive wealth creation,” he said in a statement.

Sieg’s departure prompted the appointments of Lindsay Hans and Eric Schimpf as co-leads of Merrill Wealth Management, Bank of America said in a separate statement.

Hans joined Bank of America in 2014. She leads the international and institutional groups responsible for Merrill’s largest client relationships.

Schimpf began his career as a Merrill financial adviser in 1994 and most recently served as an executive for the Pacific coast and co-head of its adviser development programme. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Schimpf qualified as airborne ranger and was commissioned as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army before beginning his career in banking.

(Reporting by Jaiveer Shekhawat and Lananh Nguyen, additional reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Marguerita Choy)