Citi names Gutiérrez-Orrantia Europe banking and cluster head in restructure

By Andres Gonzalez

LONDON (Reuters) – Nacho Gutiérrez-Orrantia, one of Citi’s most senior bankers in Europe, will become banking and cluster head for Europe as part of its planned restructuring, the banker told Reuters on Monday.

The latest step in the bank’s reorganisation was announced on Monday, with Citi’s CEO, Jane Fraser, saying that “the actions we’re taking to reorganize the firm involve some difficult, consequential decisions” according to a memo sent to staff and seen by Reuters.

In his new role, the Spanish banker will look after Citi´s businesses in the region.

“Our plan, that has been announced by Jane, it is a plan built on several foundations, but maybe the two most important are client centrism and simplification,” said Gutiérrez-Orrantia in a phone interview with Reuters.

Prior to the restructuring, Europe was part of its EMEA business unit, the second-largest region on a revenue basis, according to Citi’s 2022 annual report.

Citi employs approximately 15,000 people in Europe.

Gutiérrez-Orrantia was appointed in 2021 as Citi’s co-Head of Banking, Capital Markets and Advisory (BCMA) for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and has spent 19 years at the bank.

Since late 2022, the Bilbao native ran the BCMA business in EMEA alongside with Jens Welter, who joined the US bank from Credit Suisse last year.

The appointment of Gutiérrez-Orrantia is part of the biggest reshuffle of the US bank in decades, aimed at giving CEO Jane Fraser more direct control of the bank as she seeks to simplify the lender and boost its stock price.

Last month, Citi announced plans to cut management layers from 13 to eight. In the two top layers of leadership, Citi reduced 15% of functional roles and eliminated 60 committees, it said in its third-quarter earnings presentation.

The restructuring includes splitting the business in two regions, US and International.

Within the international unit, headed by Ernesto Torres, Citi’s operations will be led by so-called cluster chiefs, looking after the different regions: Europe, UK, Latin America, Middle East & Africa, Asia South, Asia North & Australia and Japan.

The US bank recently appointed former Deutsche Bank UK deputy CEO Tiina Lee as UK Citi Country Officer (CCO) and UK cluster and banking head.

Gutiérrez-Orrantia expect deal activity to increase in 2024 following a year of poor deal activity in Europe.

“There is pent-up demand and pent-up offer in terms of deal flow. If you check the amount of dry powder in the hands of sponsors and the potential portfolio companies that could be put for sale, the level of discussed public to private deals and corporate activity – it is large,” he said.

(Reporting by Andres Gonzalez; additional reporting by Pablo Mayo Cerquerio. Editing by Anousha Sakoui, Louise Heavens and Chizu Nomiyama)