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MOVES-Citi names new head of fintech venture arm

Nov 29 Citigroup Inc has promoted fintech investor Vanessa Colella to lead Citi Ventures, a division that backs young financial technology companies.

Colella, who has been global head of venture investing and strategic growth initiatives at Citi Ventures since 2013, will take on the role in January, the bank said on Tuesday. She has also been named chief innovation officer for the group, the bank said.

Colella takes over from the divisiom's founder and CEO Debby Hopkins, who announced in June her intention to retire at the end of the year.

Founded in 2010, Silicon Valley-based Citi Ventures takes equity stakes in young technology companies that can help the bank improve its technology and digital offering. To deliver on its objectives it also helps investee companies connect with the bank's businesses and global customer network.

It is one of several venture arms launched by banks over the past few years to stay on top of changes to their industry driven by new digital technologies.

Citi Ventures has backed several well known fintech companies including Square, the mobile payments company launched by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, robo-adviser Betterment and blockchain startup Chain. (Reporting by Anna Irrera; editing by Grant McCool)

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