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UPDATE 2-MOVES-Citi bets on alternative assets group with new EMEA leadership -memo

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(Adds company details and background)

By Pamela Barbaglia

LONDON, May 14 (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc has tapped a former Credit Suisse banker to shake up the leadership of its alternative assets franchise in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in a bid to win more business from clients spanning pension funds and sovereign investors.

Didier Denat, who spent 21 years at Credit Suisse and was a member of the Swiss bank's executive board, will chair Citi's alternative assets group (AAG) in EMEA while Theo Giatrakos has been promoted to AAG head, according to a memo seen by Reuters.

Giatrakos replaces Alexis Maskell who quit in March to join private equity firm BC Partners.

Denat left Credit Suisse in December, just before Switzerland's second-largest bank got hit by a run of costly scandals which caused it to lose more than $5 billion from the collapse of family office Archegos and the suspension of funds linked to Greensill.

Denat started his career at Citi in Zurich in 1990 and joined Credit Suisse in 1999, when he took the helm of the bank's leveraged finance and sponsors business for the EMEA region - a unit he ran for 16 years before being elevated to the top ranks and heading the corporate banking business for four years.

In his new mandate he will work closely with Giatrakos, who has been at Citi for a decade and was recently leading its investment banking franchise in Central and Southeast Europe.

"The $20 billion global wallet in alternative assets represents a large and high-growth opportunity for Citi to capture significant market share across advisory and financing products and corporate services," said the memo, which was signed by Anthony Diamandakis, another former Credit Suisse banker, who now co-heads Citi's global asset managers.

The U.S. bank has also hired David Ibáñez from Deutsche Bank to expand its newly launched technology and communications franchise under the leadership of Philip Drury.

Ibáñez, who has also worked at Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, joins as a managing director and will focus mainly on enterprise software. (Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia in London Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Matthew Lewis)