Citigroup Shuffles Management at Private Banking Unit

Citigroup said on Thursday Damian Kozlowski, chief executive of its private banking unit, is leaving the company, in the latest management change at the largest U.S. bank.

Kozlowski's position is being split in two. John Longley, a divisional director in the international operations of Citigroup's Smith Barney brokerage, will become chief executive of the U.S. private bank.

Deepak Sharma, who has led Citigroup's wealth management operations in Asia and the Middle East, will oversee all wealth management operations outside the United States.

The shake-up was announced in a memo to employees from Sallie Krawcheck, who oversees the wealth management unit.

It marks Krawcheck's first attempt to put her imprint on the unit's structure since she took over on March 12. Krawcheck replaced Todd Thomson, who was ousted in January.

Kozlowski had led the private bank, which serves affluent clients, since June 2005, and sat on Citigroup's management committee. He is leaving to pursue opportunities outside the company, according to Krawcheck.

A Citigroup spokeswoman confirmed the memo's contents. None of the executives was immediately available for comment.

In her memo, Krawcheck said the new leadership structure "streamlines our organization and brings management closer to our client-facing colleagues."

Sharma already sits on Citigroup's management committee, while Longley will join it. Sharma will remain based in Singapore and Longley will move to New York from San Francisco. Both will report to Krawcheck.

In 2006, profit at the private bank rose 18% to $439 million, as revenue increased 8%to $2.02 billion. In all of wealth management, including Smith Barney, profit rose 16% to $1.44 billion, while revenue rose 17% to $10.18 billion.

Citigroup has been criticized for a draining of management talent that left a dearth of potential successors to Chief Executive Charles Prince, who is under pressure from many investors to cut costs and boost revenue faster.

Earlier this year, Prince hired former American Express chief financial officer Gary Crittenden for the same role at Citigroup. Analysts said this made Crittenden a leading candidate to eventually succeed Prince.