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Citigroup alumni to raise $1bn emerging markets fund

Two ex-Citigroup executives are raising a $1 billion fund to develop financial services businesses in emerging markets.

Two former senior executives at Citigroup have left to set up a private equity fund that will invest in emerging markets financial services companies.

Brysam Global Partners will be run by Robert Willumstad, a former president and chief operating officer of Citigroup, and Marge Magner (see feature, above, “Magner General Partner”) the former chairman and chief executive of the bank’s global consumer group.

The firm is raising a fund of up to $1 billion, according to the US-based Wall Street Journal, which will be invested primarily in Russia, India, China and Mexico.

Brysam said it would invest in financial services businesses “with a focus on consumer opportunities in emerging markets”. It plans to use the operating experience of its founders to develop these companies, either as a control investor or by co-investing alongside other private equity firms.

Willumstad said Brysam would meet a need for “experienced operating management in financial services”.  Magner added: “We bring to the table all the attributes necessary to develop and increase the profitability and value of any business, but particularly those in financial services.”

Willumstad left Citigroup in 2005, after being passed over for the chief executive role following the departure of Sanford Weill, and has since become chairman of US insurer American International Group. His new private equity firm will not invest in any insurance companies, in order to avoid conflicts of interest.