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One of UK’s Top Bankers Put on Leave by Citi Pending Probe

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Citigroup Inc. has suspended Jan Skarbek, one of the UK’s most high-profile investment bankers, pending an investigation into allegations of misconduct, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The bank is looking into a complaint about comments that Skarbek allegedly made to a female employee during a recent staff getaway, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

Citigroup promoted Skarbek last year to become co-head of its banking, capital markets and advisory business in the UK and Ireland.

The probe is still at a preliminary stage and hasn’t reached any conclusions yet, the people said. Skarbek declined to comment. A representative for Citigroup said that as a matter of policy, the bank won’t comment on pending investigations.

“We have zero tolerance for inappropriate conduct,” Citigroup said in a statement. “We take any matter coming to our attention very seriously and take the appropriate action.”

Buyout Wave

Skarbek advised British bookmaker William Hill Plc last year on its £2.9 billion ($3.4 billion) sale to Caesars Entertainment Inc. and worked with US aerospace firm Parker-Hannifin Corp. on its £6.3 billion takeover of Meggitt Plc, according to exchange filings.

He also advised buyout firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice on its $3.9 billion acquisition of London-listed pharmaceutical services provider UDG Healthcare Plc, which was completed in August. Citigroup ranked eighth among advisers on takeovers of UK companies last year, with a role on $34.5 billion of transactions, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The bank ranked third among underwriters of London initial public offerings in 2021, behind only JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp., the data show. It had roles on listings of companies including food delivery app Deliveroo Plc, private equity firm Bridgepoint Group Plc and greeting card platform Moonpig Group Plc.

Many finance firms say they’re taking a harder line on inappropriate behavior as the City of London tries to dismantle a male-dominated culture that’s been criticized by UK regulators.