(Reuters) – Citigroup Inc named Elissar Farah Antonios as the new head of its Middle East and North Africa operation, making her the first woman to lead the fastest growing region in the bank’s emerging markets portfolio, a memo seen by Reuters on Tuesday showed.

The appointment of Antonios comes after Citi named consumer banking head Jane Fraser as its next chief executive in September, making her the first woman to lead a major Wall Street bank.

Fraser’s appointment had been celebrated as a step in the right direction for an industry that has few women or diverse executives in its top ranks.

Antonios joined Citi in 2005 as the boss of its private bank in Abu Dhabi and has more than 25 years of financial services experience in the region, the memo showed.

She has also served as Citi’s country officer for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since 2016 and has been in charge of operations in UAE, Levant and Iraq since 2019.

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru and Saeed Azhar in Dubai; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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