Klein takes top job at Citi

Michael Klein, who has helped Citigroup’s investment banking division become a key service provider to private equity firms globally, has been appointed head of wholesale banking in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Leading Citigroup banker Michael Klein has been named CEO of the group’s global corporate and investment banking (GCIB) with responsibility for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.


In this new role Klein, previously CEO of GCIB in Europe and co-head of global investment banking alongside Robert Morse, will manage a business with 16,000 staff and total revenues in 2002 of $5bn. The mandate comprises 54 countries and includes both developed and emerging markets.


A London-based senior banker at Salomon Smith Barney, Citigroup’s investment bank, commented: “This is the biggest international job within Citigroup, and it’s been given to one of our best bankers. It’s focused on management, but Michael will continue to do client work, primarily with private equity and corporate clients.”


Klein, 39, who first joined Salomon Brother’s M&A advisory business in 1985, is known in industry circles for his enthusiasm for the private equity business and his commitment to building Citigroup’s franchise in this area.


Klein founded Salomon’s leveraged buyout and private equity practice in 1988. In the mid-1990s, he was behind the bank’s push to set up its Financial Entrepreneurs Group (FEG), one of the first ever dedicated financial sponsors coverage groups offering M&A advice and leveraged finance to be established by a US investment bank. He became co-head of global investment banking in 1999.


Klein arrived in London shortly thereafter, in part to help build up FEG in Europe. He was also closely involved in Salomon Smith Barney’s acquisition of Schroders, the UK investment bank, which was completed in 2000.


According to people close to the bank, FEG contributes on average between 10 and 15 per cent of Citigroup’s investment banking revenues. It has developed close relationships with Europe’s leading buyout groups offering M&A services, securitisation, debt funding and fund placement services. 


In 2002 FEG worked on the leveraged buyouts of TDF, Gate Gourmet and First Aqua. It also advised on the IPOs of private equity owned HMV, William Hill and ITS, and helped Terra Firma Capital Partners sell Unique and Voyager, the pubs businesses, to Cinven in a £2bn transaction.


FEG currently has around 25 specialists operating out of London, led by Kamal Tabet. 


On the fund placement site, which is headed up by Loren Boston, the bank’s European clients include Charterhouse Development Capital and Terra Firma.


As part of the management changes at Citigroup, Robert Morse becomes sole head of global investment banking. Both Klein and Morse will report to Chuck Prince, chairman and CEO of GCIB.