Citigroup To Transfer HK Staff To Singapore
HONG KONG – In one of the most evident signs that the city’s zero-Covid strategy is forcing multinational banks to transfer crucial employees out of the Asian financial hub, Citigroup is relocating about six senior equities staff from Hong Kong to Singapore and other markets, reported Bloomberg on Thursday (17 February, SGT)
Sources revealed that among the managing directors moving to Singapore is Lee McQueen, Citigroup’s Head of pan Asia equity blocks. The relocation follows a recent move by Sue Lee, the bank’s head of equity derivatives distribution for the region.
Another four to five directors are in talks to transfer to Singapore, they said. These include Abhishek Choudhary, Head of equity execution advisory in Asia Pacificand Kevin Zolkiewicz, head of futures execution for the region.
Daniel Millwood, Head of prime services sales trading in Asia Pacific, is shifting to London, whereas Allan Newsome is relocating to Australia as an electronic sales trader.
“The bank was being as flexible as possible to support staff who wanted to relocate due to family reasons or for client coverage,” explained Citigroup’s Hong Kong-based spokesperson, James Griffiths.
Although the number of relocations is small compared to the bank’s overall workforce in the department, it would be one of the largest relocations of senior executives by a multinational bank out of Hong Kong, amid growing concern over the city’s status as a financial hub.
Overall, New York-based Citigroup has over 4,600 employees in Hong Kong.
Business groups have warned that the city is facing an exodus of overseas talent due to its harsh COVID-related restrictions, including 2 weeks of quarantine for incoming travellers, which make it hard to operate a business in the city.
On the other hand, other financial centres like Singapore have decided to live with COVID-19. The city-state on Wednesday (16 February) indicated that it will significantly relax travel and social restrictions once the present wave of infections hits its peak.