Change of captain for Citigroup in Paris. The American bank appointed Cécile Ratcliffe on Monday as CEO of its French subsidiary (Citi Country Officer) and patron of Corporate Banking for France, as of October 1. She succeeds Mathieu Gelis, who held this position for six years and will ensure a transition period.
This appointment comes in a phase of growth for Citi in France, where the American bank has seen its workforce increase from 170 to 250 employees following the Brexit vote. At the origin of this development, internal transfers from London, but also recruitments in the ranks of the Parisian competition, like Robin Rousseau who arrived a year ago from Deutsche Bank.
“We are in the middle of a period of growth,” says Cécile Ratcliffe, who has had less galvanizing times since she joined Citi in 1993, especially during the financial crisis. Twelve years later, Citi is taking advantage of its international network to support the M&A boom. The bank notably advised Veolia (for its merger with Suez) or LVMH (on Tiffany).
New trading room in Paris
In market activities, France has become a centerpiece of the group’s system, underlines this 52-year-old French woman married to a Briton. “Paris has the largest concentration of market employees in continental Europe,” explains Cécile Ratcliffe, who currently heads this activity in France, Belgium and Luxembourg.
The movement should continue, as Citi has just expanded its offices near the Champs-Elysées in Paris to accommodate a new trading room with a capacity of 150 people. While it only hosted sellers until now, it now houses around twenty traders.
The appointment of Cécile Ratcliffe in France comes three years after that of Laurence Parisot as president of Citi France and a few months after the entry into office of Jane Fraser at the head of Citigroup. Since then, the first woman to head a large American bank has taken a strategic turn (by selling certain assets, for example) and by instilling a new culture, aiming in particular to restore the balance between professional and personal life.