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Citi lures Flexner from Bear

The US’ third largest bank continues to grow its institutional client division, hiring ex-Bear Stearns vice chairman Thomas Flexner to head its real estate team.

Citigroup’s institutional client arm, Citi Institutional Clients Group, has hired former Bear Stearns vice chairman Thomas Flexner to head its real estate team.

As global head of real estate, Flexner will be responsible for directing commercial real estate activities across the investment banking, finance and alternative investment divisions. He will report to John Havens, chief executive of the institutional clients group.

The announcement comes amid growing fears of layoffs at Bear Stearns as the New York-based bank prepares to be taken over by JPMorgan Chase.

Flexner was a vice chairman at Bear Stearns with responsibility for the bank’s commercial real estate activities including real estate, commercial mortgages, and principal investing. He was also head of Bear Stearns financial buyer group which provides financing and advisory services for leverage buyout sponsors, private equity funds and their portfolio companies.

The move is the latest in a line of appointments at Citigroup since Vikram Pandit became chief executive officer last December. Earlier this month, Mark Rufeh, former chief administrative officer at Credit Suisse’s investment banking division and chief executive of Westchester Capital private equity firm, was appointed chief administrative officer and head of productivity.