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Former BofA mortgage head joins Citigroup

A former head of Bank of America’s home mortgage business is going to work for Citigroup in its banking subsidiary.

Barbara Desoer will start work Tuesday as chief operating officer for Citibank NA, according to a memo from Citibank CEO Gene McQuade to employees.

Citigroup is the third-largest U.S. bank by assets, behind No. 2 Bank of America.

Desoer left Bank of America last year following a management restructuring. She was once a candidate to replace former Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis, who resigned in 2009. That position ultimately went to Brian Moynihan.

Lewis named her president of Bank of America’s consumer real estate operation formed after the bank bought Countrywide Financial Corp. in 2008. To take the job, Desoer moved from Charlotte to Countrywide's base in Calabasas, Calif.

Desoer had reported to Moynihan until September 2011, when David Darnell and Tom Montag were installed as chief operating officers. Desoer then began reporting to Darnell. A second reorganization in October of that year moved home loans into Bank of America’s consumer bank unit.

In February 2012, Desoer’s resignation was announced. She told the Observer in an interview at the time that the decision to leave was fully hers.

“It’s a good transition point for me,” she said.

Desoer joined Bank of America when it acquired San Francisco-based BankAmerica Corp. in 1998. About a year later, she moved to Charlotte and quickly moved up the ranks of the combined company.

Other positions she’s held with Bank of America include chief technology and operations officer, as well as senior positions in retail banking, commercial lending and marketing.

In 2010, Fortune magazine named her one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business.”

“Barbara brings to Citi a wealth of experience in banking and finance accrued during a 35-year career with Bank of America,” Citibank’s McQuade said in the memo. He called Desoer “a senior leader in retail and commercial banking during the early integration of Bank of America and Nations Bank.

“Barbara is the ideal person to deepen the management bench both of CBNA and of Citi, and we’re delighted to have her join our team.”

Citigroup is based in New York.

Roberts: 704-358-5248; Twitter: @DeonERoberts
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