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Citi poaches Deutsche's Murphy in Asia prime broking push

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By Nishant Kumar

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc has hired Deutsche Bank AG's David Murphy as head of its prime finance unit in Asia-Pacific, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters, as part of an plan to gain market share in the fiercely competitive industry.

Murphy, a prime broking industry veteran, was Deutsche Bank's Asia prime finance unit co-head.

Citigroup spokesman Godwin Chellam confirmed the contents of the memo to Reuters.

Murphy will report to London-based Nick Roe, Citigroup's global head of prime finance and futures, and regionally to Singapore-based Rodrigo Zorrilla, head of markets in Asia-Pacific.

Hannah Goodwin, head of prime finance in Asia-Pacific for Citigroup, would continue to manage the business until Murphy joins in December, the memo sent by Roe and Zorrilla said.

Goodwin, who joined Citigroup about six years ago from Deutsche Bank and built the firm into the No.6 prime broker in Asia-Pacific, will take the role of prime brokerage head for the region and manage all client-facing business.

She will report to Murphy.

Prime brokers provide services such as clearing trades and lending money to hedge funds.

Citigroup plans to raise headcount at its Asian prime finance unit by 20 percent to 80 this year as it looks to fight for more hedge fund clients in an industry dominated by the likes of Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Morgan Stanley.

The firm hired Martin Visairas as regional head of sales and capital intro from financial conglomerate Old Mutual late last year. Rob Baigrie from HDH Capital and Carol Teng from Nomos Capital Partners have also joined the team.

Other hires include former JPMorgan Chase & Co executives Ian Nissen as head of futures and prime finance sales, Australia, and Chris Day into the exchange traded derivatives team.

(Reporting by Nishant Kumar; Editing by Chris Lewis)