Citigroup Eyes Payments-Sector Consolidation with Investment Banking Hire

By Ben Dummett Features Dow Jones Newswires

Citigroup Inc. has created a separate services group within its investment-banking coverage of the industrials sector and appointed two global co-heads to oversee the new division amid a flurry of deal-making in the payments-processing sector in Europe and the U.S.

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Jean-Baptiste Petard is expected to join Citi in December as global co-head of the independent services division, according to a memo announcing the new structure.

A seasoned investment banker, Mr. Petard was most recently at UBS Group AG, where he oversaw the Swiss bank's investment-banking operations for business services, transportation and logistics in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. At Citi, he will be based in London, focusing on clients in the business and payment services sectors in EMEA.

Mr. Petard will share global co-head duties for the new services division with Chad Hoeft, who will continue his coverage focus on the security, facilities-management and travel-services sectors. Mr. Hoeft joined Citi in 1998, and has spearheaded Citi's coverage of the services sector in North America for the last several years. He remains based in New York.

Mr. Petard's appointment and his base in London underscores the potential of lucrative advisory work for investment banks amid a consolidation of the payments sector that is under pressure to cut costs and invest in new technologies to address the rise of mobile payments. In one of the more recent high-profile cross-border deals, Vantic Inc., a big Ohio-based payments company, last month agreed to acquire U.K. payments processor Worldpay Group PLC for GBP8 billion ($10.4 billion) in cash and stock. In another deal last month, buyout firms Blackstone Group LP and CVC Capital Partners struck a deal to acquire Paysafe Group PLC, another online-payments processor based in the U.K.

Mr. Petard will report to Manuel Falco, who oversees corporate and investment banking for EMEA and Wes Walraven, Citi's London-based global co-head of industrials investment banking. Mr. Hoeft will continue to report to Mr. Walraven.

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Write to Ben Dummett at ben.dummett@wsj.com

Vantiv Inc. last month agreed to acquire U.K. payments processor Worldpay. "Citigroup Eyes Payments-Sector Consolidation With Investment Banking Hire," published Tuesday at 1236 GMT, misspelled the company's name as Vantic.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 06, 2017 04:54 ET (08:54 GMT)