Citibank new hub in Malaga

Hey everyone,

Does anyone know details about this new Citi Malaga hub, I've heard conflicted opinions, some say it is just support some sort of back office with nothing to learn or do and some say it is still Citi BB IB with less working hours and compensation but with amazing exposure, brand name, learning experience and possible entry to IB in London or exit to PE.

What do you guys think? Anyone has some insight to the hub?

Thanks!

Comments (39)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
May 7, 2022 - 4:39pm

How the fuck do you expect them to work on any actual deal if they clock off at 5pm? They're going to be given the shittiest, most absolutely boring tasks ever that no one wants to do like strip profiles, industry research, etc. but they won't work on any deal.

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
May 7, 2022 - 4:49pm

Think this will be similar to the GS Salt Lake City experiment, if it even is IB. Those guys were always very junior to actual deal teams and were basically getting outsourcing type work... profiles, very simple excels, time-consuming data pulls. Entry to London IB interally is definitely possible, okay if you have no other way in but wouldn't take over any other IB offers. Directly to PE is not going to happen as you will not be holding pen on any models.

May 7, 2022 - 5:48pm
AK-95, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I didn't know about GS experiment, I'll read about it! Do you think such opportunity, assuming no other IB offers on the table, would help loving to other BB or EB IB in London later? Not just internally in Citi I mean. How would you plan this step or next steps if you were in such position? Thanks! 

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
May 7, 2022 - 10:17pm

It wasn't called an "experiment" lmao poor choice of wording on my end, look up GS SLC. Their top participants did get the chance to lateral to NYC/SF/etc, but they often started over as first year analysts 

Don't think most BB/EB in London would be too impressed with this - you'd be better off in corporate banking, big 4 advisory, small regional IB etc. Although I will say Citi is one of the best out there for internal mobility, wouldn't be surprised if they are building in an easy pipeline to get to a more traditional IB position.

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
May 7, 2022 - 6:12pm

Honestly I think they'll actually do proper work, even if the deck that has to be done by tomorrow morning is now done by tomorrow night. From Citi's side, there is a high inventive to see how the shorter hours (and salary) will affect productivity, retention and such.

Imagine for a sec that it turns out that there is not a huge impact on the work an analyst does and you are an exec at Citi. Would you ignore this info and keep paying 100k+ salaries (if not much more) to 20 year olds or do you try to implement this cheaper system more broadly? Would you keep paying expensive rent and maintenance costs for large offices in European capitals or would you move to a cheaper, smaller city with a better lifestyle such as Malaga? 

Now, I doubt this will pan out for Citi, but it is an experiment after all. They want to see what happens and what can be extrapolated from it. And for that they will try to have them do as much work as a normal analyst in London, Paris or Madrid would do.

  • Analyst 2 in PE - LBOs
May 8, 2022 - 4:47am

I guess that you know what would happen if BBs started having good hours, low salaries and moved from londoj to cheaper cities, no?

1. They would not attract top talent 

2. Clients would notice the reduction of costs/quality of employees and reduce fees accordingly

Companies get investment bankers because they are supposedly smart, they have top notch backgrounds, etc. Do you think it would be the same if most of the work was done by low paying, lower-qualified employees? No. On an extreme case, why don't they just keep 'relationship' bankers in London to close deals and then actually outsource all the work to Africa or India?
 

And to clarify, having lower paying jobs would have a direct consequence on the quality of the employees. Top students want to go to finance because of the high pay in absolute terms. If they can not get it, they will look to tech, law, entrepreneurship etc. Most competitive finance candidates don't want half the salary for half the hours. For sure they care about work-life balance, but not at any cost. Those kind of jobs, lower stress, lower salary (but still a 'good') salary, already exist, and they don't attract the most competitive candidates

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
May 8, 2022 - 5:16am

Something similar was said about audit many many years ago and, guess what, nothing changed.

1) Clients only really care about the advice of the people on top. I don't know what you think an analyst does but it is not so complex that you need top talent. Compared to tech it is an easy job (minus long hours).

2) As long as you keep Director salaries high (or even raise them), you will still get great kids. The same way that IB attracts Type A personalities, it also attracts ambitious people who know how to play the long game. Any B4 audit department has plenty of well educated, intelligent, individuals who see their jobs as a sacrifice now for a great job once they are promoted. 

3) Similar to small boutiques in the US or B4 in Europe, many top kids who struck out during recruitment for XYZ will join those places with the idea of moving to a big bank in 2-3 years. Again, if PE keeps salaries the same you will see many talents join IB just to switch right before they hit associate. Just like it happens now but with extra incentives.

4) Most banks already outsource a big part of their (especially the menial tasks) to countries like India. The reason they won't outsource more is bc of the high turnover, cultural and timezone issues with an office in, say, Mumbai or Bangalore vs London or Milan. Given how Malaga will be in Europe I expect Citi to see how this develops over time.

Again, I don't think that this will work, but it is pretty naive to think that banks that cheap out on a $30 dinner won't be looking for ways to reduce costs. 

May 9, 2022 - 3:29pm
Mantis Toboggan MD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I guess that you know what would happen if BBs started having good hours, low salaries and moved from londoj to cheaper cities, no?

1. They would not attract top talent 

2. Clients would notice the reduction of costs/quality of employees and reduce fees accordingly

Companies get investment bankers because they are supposedly smart, they have top notch backgrounds, etc. Do you think it would be the same if most of the work was done by low paying, lower-qualified employees? No. On an extreme case, why don't they just keep 'relationship' bankers in London to close deals and then actually outsource all the work to Africa or India?
 

And to clarify, having lower paying jobs would have a direct consequence on the quality of the employees. Top students want to go to finance because of the high pay in absolute terms. If they can not get it, they will look to tech, law, entrepreneurship etc. Most competitive finance candidates don't want half the salary for half the hours. For sure they care about work-life balance, but not at any cost. Those kind of jobs, lower stress, lower salary (but still a 'good') salary, already exist, and they don't attract the most competitive candidates

1 is true if by "cheaper COL cities" you're talking the UK/EU equivalent of Salt Lake City....Malaga is an interesting experiment though as it's obviously cheaper than London but has other lifestyle factors to sell it (arguably SLC does too but mainly for outdoors, winter sports etc). 

May 8, 2022 - 6:12am
AK-95, what's your opinion? Comment below:

That was a pretty thorough view into it! Thanks! As long as they are doing actual proper IB work which will open other IB opportunities later, I think it is good to go then!

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
May 8, 2022 - 4:16am

I work at Citi. They are doing this because the IB analysts are extremely stretched and this is a cost effective way to provide more support (to the IB analysts)

Citi Emea currently uses their Mumbai team for assistance on minor but time consuming tasks e.g. strip profiles, ppt changes, research etc. This is both on marketing and live deals.

Malaga will provide similar assistance, just more conveniently in the same time zone. It will alleviate some of the IB analysts' burden, but the IB analysts will still be responsible for ensuring accuracy, deliverability and wrapping the work into the overall framework of the project / deal. I don't believe Malaga will be having any client interaction or help run deals.

High quality Mumbai analysts often transfer to work as front office IBD analysts, so the same thing should be true for Malaga. However, they wont be going directly to PE.

May 8, 2022 - 8:10am
AK-95, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for the insight man! Really appreciate it! People transferring to the London IBD team from Malaga, how fast do you think it can be done? and if they waited 2 years in Malaga d they join a year 3 Analyst or year 2 for example? how do you think it is going to be factored in?

  • Analyst 2 in PE - LBOs
May 8, 2022 - 8:31am

I think that it will highly depend on the state of the market. If it is red hot like last year, probably you will have chances. If there is a recession/significant slowdown (which seems likely), dealflow will suffer, and the market won't be as hot, so Malaga analysts will have too much competition for a few spots

  • Analyst 2 in PE - LBOs
May 8, 2022 - 4:49am

A couple of days ago I spoke with a friend working at citi London and he told me that there will be a formal chance of transferring to London after 2 years in Malaga (just for the best candidates)

May 8, 2022 - 8:08am
AK-95, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Okay that is somehow reassuring it is not a dead job or path to good IBD opportunities in London! Do you think after a year or so in Citi Malaga there might be a good change to go to EB or BB IBD in London? or the best chance might be to actually wait full 2 years and move internally?

  • Analyst 2 in PE - LBOs
May 8, 2022 - 10:21am

If the market is very very hot, and it is very easy to lateral, yes; otherwise no. Chances are market is not going to be like that; the last couple of years have been a dealmaking frenzy fuelled by ultra loose monetary policy.

i would take Dubai without a doubt. You would make probably 4x more, and you would be a 100% proper IB analyst. Salaries in Dubai are usually the same as in London, and there are no taxes, so in effect, you make nearly twice as much. Analysts in Malaga will probably make half of those in London, so Dubai = ~4x Malaga. Plus proper exposure being a part of a deal team and not a part of a support team.

May 8, 2022 - 8:26am
AK-95, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks everyone for the really insightful opinions and information! Really appreciate it!

To summurize this from my undertanding, it is a good opportunity to get into London IBD if no other good opportunties are on the table, you have a chance of doing proper work and work on live deals given the proximity to London and Frankfurt etc. 

What do you think is better if the end goal is London IBD, this opportunity or a BB IBD offcycle Internship in Dubai?

I am trying to just learn and understand from your experiences how this opportunity stands next to Dubai for example in order to get into BB IBD in London as a goal. Thanks everyone!

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
May 8, 2022 - 9:20am

Brother, I think you suffer from extreme confirmation bias. A guy from Citi literally told you in this thread that Malaga people will just replace the Mumbai analysts but won't touch any deal ever. Choosing to go to sunny Malaga shows that you have a specific mindset - you don't want to work too hard, and you specifically chose an option that you knew would hurt your career. No EB/BB would have a positive view on that.

I can tell you with absolute certainty that those Malaga people will receive no relevant tasks. It's 1am and we just received comments from the MD on our deck, do you think I'm going to wait for the Malaga people to wake up next morning to ask them for help? No, I'm going to ask the guy working next to me in the office.

May 8, 2022 - 1:16pm
AK-95, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I wasn't having a confirmation bias, I was just trying to Re clarify  if I am understanding correctly or not, but yea I understand your point! Very good one to be honest, Thanks man! Really appreciate it. 

May 8, 2022 - 11:28am
JonasCord, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you've received an offer, then you're aware of what kind of work you'll be doing and how you'll be linked to the bigger hubs in EMEA. All of the presentations and statements coming from Citi clearly detail that the roles that are currently available are either full time IB analyst or intern. Nothing in between IB or support. IB plain and simple. Now, is it the same as working in London, Paris, Madrid? No. The caveat is that there will be work-life balance. Something most people are taking at face-value and not doubting it. My take is that it won't be the case that much. Hours will still be long but with some "caps". If you're good enough, then you shouldn't worry about being able to move internally to one of the bigger hubs.You're looking way too hard for someone to confirm you're making the right choice, when perhaps you're the one with more information about this program.The interviewing process was the same as the ones for FT IB roles at Citi. There are a lot of people throwing wild guesses without knowing anything about this program.

  • Works at Citigroup
May 8, 2022 - 3:48pm
  1. Make sure you come in as a Citi employee and not a contractor. That makes things a lot easier.
  2. Citi rules is that you can lateral after 1 year in seat and you have to be at least a 3/3, which is completely achievable unless you're a total drooler. 
  3. Citi culture really lends itself to reaching out internally. I feel like I can write to just about anybody in the company and they will write back. So start looking the directory and start reaching out. As long as you're not overbearing and genuinely interested in the work, you will find people to give you insights, I guarantee it. 
  4. The post above is 100% accurate about internal mobility, it's marvelous. When the time is right, start looking at the postings and start reaching out to the hiring managers, get a feel for who's looking and build from there. ALWAYS include the recruiter in your contacts. They can become your best friend when the manager gets backlogged and they will help you out. 
  5. Be targeted in who you reach out to and how many times you apply. Managers can see how many times you've applied to positions and high numbers are usually not taken as a good sign. 
May 9, 2022 - 3:14am
j_castillo14, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Where the fuck is Malaga? Is this a social experiment to see how long an office can last in some random African tribal village before it's burned to the ground, bombed, turned into swiss cheese, causes the company to go bankrupt from its massive deficit or cause some other chain reaction that will DESTROY the global economy?

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
May 9, 2022 - 3:12pm

2022 EMEA Banking Analytics Group - Full Time Banking Analyst - Málaga, Spain: July Start at Citi

In my experience, any group called "analytics" will take a back seat to the front office and be second class in comparison. Probably good lateral ops but you will be under paid and over worked. I worked in a similar support group at a BB for a trading desk and it was terrible. You will be a 3rd year analyst/jr associate getting yelled at by some first year out of a grad scheme who cant put together a comp sheet and still needs you to do it correctly and the way his MD wants it

May 9, 2022 - 3:32pm
Mantis Toboggan MD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Everyone is discussing this with a focus on juniors, however I wouldn't be surprised if Citi is thinking about this just as much if not more so as a way to retain mid-career talent on the verge of burnout/leaving banking by letting them spend a few years in a relatively relaxing, lower stress Malaga rotation living like kings on the London/NYC comp they'll already be locked in at. 

May 10, 2022 - 12:17pm
leonkatelen, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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May 23, 2022 - 12:33pm
Mantis Toboggan MD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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