Citigroup Inc. could add close to 100 new employees to its businesses across the African continent as it surges past rivals to reclaim the top spot in arranging debt sales in the region, Bloomberg reported yesterday. The news agency stated that the New York-based bank has already started filling roles to add muscle to its local operations in anticipation that the headcount in sub-Saharan Africa will swell by about 10% from nearly 900. It also introduced a new corporate finance and structuring unit to help attract business from international development institutions as the global economy rebounds, according to Citigroup’s sub-Saharan Africa head, Akin Dawodu.
Bloomberg quoted Dawodu as saying “we are looking to build some capacity in our coverage teams and in our corporate banking and markets businesses as well. We see clients still looking to go out into the markets and raise money.” Citigroup is on the prowl for talent across the $1.7 trillion economy of sub-Saharan Africa, a region of about a billion people, after rolling out flexible work policies as a tool it believes will offer a competitive edge in recruiting and retaining top staff. U.S. rival, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., is similarly hiring to grow its reach in the region through its South Africa unit while some of the continent’s largest lenders, including Standard Bank Group Ltd., continue to plow resources into expansion of their operations.