Citigroup Inc. has hired former Merrill Lynch & Co. banker Rodney Tsang as co-head of its China investment banking team, adding firepower to the bank's effort to target China's private-sector companies.

Tsang built his reputation by advising Chinese private companies looking to raise capital from global investors. Earlier this year, he worked on the $126 million Nasdaq initial public offering of Chinese video game maker Ltd.

The hire fills a missing piece in Citigroup's China investment banking team.

Jing Zhao was promoted to chairman for China investment banking.

Eugene Qian, the other co-head of China investment banking, has a background of working with China's natural-resource-related companies.

Tsang will be based in Hong Kong and report to Farhan Faruqui, head of Asia-Pacific global banking, according to an internal Citigroup memo.

Tsang will join Citigroup after spending two and a half years at Merrill, now part of Bank of America Corp., as a managing director. Before Merrill, Tsang worked for Credit Suisse for about six years.

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