JAMES Wolfensohn, former head of the World Bank and current international Middle East envoy, is joining Citigroup as a senior adviser.
Mr Wolfensohn, who stepped down from the World Bank in May after 10 years as president, will advise management on global strategy and work with international clients.
The announcement came just a day after the world's biggest financial services group said it had hired Shengman Zhang, Mr Wolfensohn's former number two at the World Bank, to be chairman of its public sector group. Both appointments highlight the importance Citigroup places on opportunities in emerging markets, where Mr Zhang and Mr Wolfensohn have unrivalled experience and contacts.
Mr Wolfensohn held senior positions at two of Citigroup's predecessor businesses - Schroders and Salomon Brothers - before setting up his own advisory firm in 1981.
"I am delighted to welcome Jim home to Citigroup", said Chuck Prince, chief executive. "His experience, knowledge and commitment will be invaluable to our company and our clients."
Mr Wolfensohn set up a new advisory firm after leaving the bank and said he intended to use the profits to fund his philanthropic activities. However, his advisory work will now be devoted to Citigroup, and its clients.
Once he has concluded his work as international envoy for Gaza disengagement, he is expected to spend about half his time with Citigroup.
"I am very pleased to work again with people whom I have known for many years and who care deeply about strengthening both local and global economies," he said.
"Citigroup, through its work with clients and communities around the world, is promoting stability, economic opportunity and a better future for people, particularly in developing countries, and I look forward to helping advance that work even further. "
When running his own firm, Mr Wolfensohn worked with leading US and international companies, including leading the restructuring of Chrysler.
Michael Klein, Citigroup's head of global banking, said: "There is no better adviser to corporates that I have had the chance to meet and work with. "
Australian-born Mr Wolfensohn is chairman emeritus of New York's Carnegie Hall and the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.
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