(Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc. appointed Robin Rousseau and Barry Weir to lead its mergers and acquisitions business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to replace the departing Alison Harding-Jones.

Rousseau, who joined from Deutsche Bank AG in 2020, will remain in Paris, according to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg News. Weir, a JPMorgan Chase & Co. veteran who moved to Citigroup last year, will stay based in London. A representative for the bank confirmed the contents of the memo.

Jens Welter, co-head of Citigroup’s EMEA investment banking group, said the current environment provides “lots of opportunities” to grow the M&A business. 

“We are optimistic—in terms of deal announcements and overall volumes, there should be a pickup in the second half of the year,” Welter said in an interview. “The key question remains whether these can close and translate into revenue. That remains to be seen.” 

Rousseau, who has been a vice chairman of Citigroup’s EMEA investment bank, previously led M&A for the region at Deutsche Bank. He was earlier a managing director at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., according to his LinkedIn profile. 

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Weir is known for his work on natural resources deals and was most recently a managing director on Citigroup’s UK investment banking team. He previously led UK M&A at JPMorgan, where he worked for more than two decades, according to his LinkedIn profile.

In the past year, Citigroup has worked on transactions including the acquisition of nicotine pouch maker Swedish Match AB by Philip Morris International Inc. and Schneider Electric SE’s deal to buy out minority shareholders in Aveva Group Plc. The US lender ranks fifth among advisers on mergers and acquisitions in Europe, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Ignacio Gutierrez-Orrantia, co-head of the Citigroup EMEA investment banking business, said the firm will be selective in hiring and expanding its franchise. 

“We continue to see opportunities to significantly increase our wallet share in Europe, and the recent hires we made will help build on that,” he said in an interview. “Our strategy is to continue to tactically fill the gaps we have in certain regions or industries, while cementing and building on our multiple areas of strength.”

Rousseau and Weir are succeeding Harding-Jones, one of the most senior women in European finance, who Citigroup said in February was leaving after just over five years at the bank. 

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