Citigroup names Jane Fraser as president

FILE PHOTO: Citigroup Latin America CEO Jane Fraser addresses a Brazil-U.S. Business Council forum to discuss relations and future cooperation in Washington, U.S. March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott

(Reuters) – Citigroup Inc (C.N) has promoted Jane Fraser to head of its global consumer bank and president, putting her in a position eventually to become the next chief executive.

The third-largest U.S. bank announced the change on Thursday, with Fraser replacing Stephen Bird as head of the consumer business. She had been running Citi’s Latin America business, including its Citibanamex division in Mexico, the past few years.

Citigroup’s current CEO, Michael Corbat, said the move did not suggest an imminent change at the top of the bank. However, promoting someone into a president role typically means that person is being groomed for the top spot. That position has been vacant at Citi since former head of Citi’s institutional clients group, Jamie Forese, left the bank earlier this year.

“I remain committed to leading our firm in the coming years and look forward to working even more closely with Jane in her new roles,” Corbat said in a press release.

Fraser, 52, has been seen as a rising star on Wall Street, and was recently reported to be among the candidates Wells Fargo & Co’s (WFC.N) board was considering for its next CEO. That bank settled on another executive.

She has been at Citigroup for about 15 years, having joined to run client strategy in the investment bank. She then ran Citi’s private bank and its troubled mortgage business, and is credited internally with helping the bank recover after the financial crisis, when it had to take $45 billion in taxpayer funds to survive.

Before then, Fraser was a McKinsey consultant, and has spent much of her career hopping between countries and regions developing a global approach to business strategy.

She will be succeeded in Latin America by Ernesto Torres Cantu, who had been CEO of Citibanamex.

Bird, whom Fraser is replacing as head of the consumer business, is leaving Citigroup after more than 20 years to pursue an external opportunity, the release said.

Reporting by C Nivedita in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Daniel Wallis

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