Angel Ng, currently chief executive for Hong Kong and Macau, has been appointed as head of Asia Pacific for global wealth management, according to an internal memo viewed by The Wall Street Journal. The unit was created early last year by combining the private bank that targeted ultrarich individuals and the consumer-wealth operation that was managed by the retail bank, and was one of Chief Executive Jane Fraser’s major initiatives to reshape Citigroup.
A Citigroup veteran, Ms. Ng joined the bank in 1998 and held various roles before heading up Hong Kong and Macau in May 2018. She takes over from Fabio Fontainha and Steven Lo, who shared the top job in overseeing wealth management in Asia Pacific from April last year until recently. Mr. Fontainha is now global head of Citigold and Citigold Private Client, which serve clients with as much as $10 million in assets. Mr. Lo is now Asia-Pacific head of Citi Private Bank, which caters to clientele with at least $25 million in assets.
Citi is expected to announce a replacement for Ms. Ng in the coming months, subject to regulatory approval. She will continue to oversee Hong Kong and Macau in the interim, according to a spokesman. In her new role, Ms. Ng will continue to be based in Hong Kong and report to Asia-Pacific chief Peter Babej and Jim O’Donnell, Citi’s CEO of global wealth management.
"Under her leadership, we will enhance our already strong position in this critical region, especially our two key wealth hubs—Singapore and Hong Kong," Mr. O’Donnell said in the memo.
Ms. Ng will also lead the bank’s personal banking franchises including retail banking, cards and loans in Hong Kong and Singapore, the two locations in Asia-Pacific where Citigroup still has consumer operations.
Citi moved to shed most of its retail branches in Asia Pacific last year. It has since announced plans to sell or exit consumer-banking operations in Australia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan and South Korea.
Some of the proceeds from those exits will be invested in growing the wealth business in Asia Pacific, which generated more than $2.5 billion in revenue last year and managed nearly $200 billion in client assets, according to company disclosure and a spokesman.
Citigroup has targeted adding 2,300 staff members—1,110 of them private bankers—and increasing assets under management for clients in the region to $450 billion by 2025. It added several hundred staff last year.
Citigroup isn’t alone in doubling down on wealth management in Asia. Other global banks from HSBC Holdings PLC to UBS Group AG are vying for the sweet spot of banking the region’s growing list of tech startups as well as their affluent founders.