As part of an effort to boost a sagging business, Salomon Smith Barney said Friday that it had restructured its European equities group.

Salomon, a unit of Citigroup Inc., named Vincent Barnouin head of European equity products, a newly created position. Mr. Barnouin had previously led European equities sales.

James Rowsell, who was the head of U.K. equity sales, took his place.

They now report to managing director James O'Donnell, who heads European equities.

Mr. O'Donnell joined Salomon Smith Barney in July after a short stint in a Roman Catholic seminary. From March 1995 to May 1998 he was the president and chief executive officer of HSBC Securities Inc. in New York.

"We don't view Continental Europe as one market ... we view each country within the continent as a different market, with individual equity cultures," Mr. O'Donnell said. "Developing strong local businesses within this framework requires the focus of a senior executive."

Mr. O'Donnell, who is based in London, succeeds Robert DiFazio, one of a number of U.S.-based Salomon executives temporarily assigned to Europe in recent years to try and revive the company's operations there. Mr. DiFazio, who came to London in 1998 to help strengthen the equities business, plans to return to New York in January.

In addition, Salomon named Paul Thompson director of marketing, account management and client services. Mr. Thompson came from Merrill Lynch's Mercury Asset Management.

Salomon also promoted Adam Cohen from European equity sales to a new position focused on European hedge funds.

Salomon said it is also hiring people to serve European institutional investors. The unit is adding sales staff to its offices in Paris and Geneva, and making further hires in Zurich and Madrid.

Salomon is not the only U.S. investment bank that has been focusing on Europe. The region's equities markets are expected to become more active as a unified Europe becomes a reality. Merrill Lynch & Co., Goldman Sachs Group, and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. have all been adding people to their European brokerage and investment banking operations.

"Americans probably feel that they've had a good run in the States, it will be difficult to keep things going as well as they have been, so they'll try Europe," said Peter Milne, a director at ratings agency Fitch IBCA in London.

Salomon has been expanding its continental European equities sales business since its combination with the Travelers Group's Smith Barney unit in October 1997. The effort was revitalized last year when Citigroup was formed in the merger of Travelers and Citicorp.

Salomon is aiming to be one of the top five European equities houses in the next few years. It was the 12th largest securities broker in Europe in the first half of 1999, according to Autex/BlockData.

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