Citi has appointed Helio Lima Magalhaes as Citi country officer (CCO) for Brazil, who will report to Francisco Aristeguieta, chief executive officer Latin America.

Aristeguieta said the Brazilian market is critical for the success of the firm’s strategy in Latin America.

Citi global consumer banking and chairman of Mexico & Latin America chief executive officer Manuel Medina-Mora said the bank counts on Helio’s experience to further expand their presence in Brazil, establishing strong client relationships and driving growth in the country, while reinforcing the strong local roots of its franchise through sound Citi Foundation programs.

"We would leverage on Helio’s experience, proven leadership and profound understanding of the market to ensure that Citi Brazil excels while driving consistent profitability across all our businesses," Medina-Mora added.

The US bank has 7,000 employees in Brazil, over 400,000 retail accounts, 101 Citibank branches, 100 Credicard branches and 5 million credit cards.

Lima Magalhaes, who replaces Gustavo Marin has been serving as CCO in Brazil since 2005.

The bank said that Magalhaes is coming back to Citi after 13 years with American Express, where he worked as head of global networks services for the Americas, country manager of American Express Mexico and president of American Express Brazil.

Before American Express, Magalhaes held several positions at Citi between 1988 and 2001, including serving as vice president of marketing and products for Citibank Latin America in 2001 and also heading the operations and technology division for the region in 2000.

He managed the global technology and operations division for Citibank’s Private Banking from 1997 to 2000. From 1994 to 1997 he was vice president of technology for Credicard Citi Brazil.

Before that he worked as marketing director for Citibank Brazil’s consumer banking and chief technology officer for the retail division and prior to joining Citibank in 1988, he was the chief technology officer at Argos Insurance.