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Citi Shifts Investment Banking Head to Dubai

The struggling bank sees opportunities for growth in the Middle East, where it has raised a lot of capital over the past six months.
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Citigroup

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on Thursday said it was moving its co-head of investment banking to Dubai, reflecting a greater emphasis on the Middle East.

Alberto Verme will continue to head the bank's investment banking unit with Ray McGuire, who remains based in New York. The emphasis on the Middle East comes on the heels of substantial investments in the reeling bank from the region, including capital infusions from the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the Kuwait Investment Authority and Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal since November.

"Citi has been in the Middle East for more than 50 years, and we want our clients in the region and around the world to know we are convinced of the region's long-term and immense growth opportunities," Citi CEO Vikram Pandit said in a company statement. "I am extremely pleased that Alberto will bring his unique experience and impressive track record of business building and client service to this critical opportunity."

The move also comes as part of a broader shuffle of the sprawling bank's management team. The bank last month said it would slash its payroll by 9,000 jobs, bringing the total to roughly 30,000 since last year. It also said in March it would

realign its businesses

along geographic lines, among other changes.

Citi is among the hardest-hit Wall Street firms in the credit crisis. The bank posted a

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$5.1 billion first-quarter loss

on a $12 billion writedown. Rivals

Merrill Lynch

(MER)

and

UBS

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also posted massive losses on big writedowns.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.