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Citi names Jane Fraser as president, putting her in line to be first female CEO

New York

CITIGROUP has promoted Jane Fraser to head of its global consumer bank and president, putting her in a position eventually to become the first female chief executive of the US bank.

Ms Fraser is replacing Stephen Bird as head of the consumer business, the bank said in a statement on Thursday, adding that Mr Bird is leaving Citi after more than 20 years to pursue an external opportunity.

Citi's current CEO, Michael Corbat, said the move did not suggest an imminent change at the top of the bank.

However, promoting someone into a president role typically means that person is being groomed for the top spot. That position has been vacant since former head of Citi institutional clients group, Jamie Forese, left the bank earlier this year.

"I remain committed to leading our firm in the coming years and look forward to working even more closely with Jane in her new roles," Mr Corbat said in the statement.

Ms Fraser, 52, has been seen as a rising star on Wall Street, and was recently reported to be among the candidates Wells Fargo & Co's board was considering for its next CEO. That bank settled on another executive.

A 15-year veteran at Citi, who first joined to run client strategy in the investment bank, Ms Fraser had been running the bank's Latin America business, including its Citibanamex division in Mexico, for the past few years.

She ran Citi's private bank and its troubled mortgage business, and is credited internally with helping the bank recover after the financial crisis, when it had to take US$45 billion in taxpayer funds to survive.

Before then, Ms Fraser was a McKinsey consultant, and has spent much of her career hopping between countries and regions developing a global approach to business strategy.

She will be succeeded in Latin America by Ernesto Torres Cantu, who had been CEO of Citibanamex.

Mr Bird, the outgoing Citi global consumer business head, was last month reported to be one of the shortlisted external candidates for the role of HSBC Holdings' chief executive.

A HSBC spokesman in Hong Kong declined to comment on the move on Friday. REUTERS

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