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Citi adds Darin Lugat, former market manager at Wells Fargo

Lugat will be the new division lending executive for New York, New Jersey and Northeast Suburban

Depository bank Citi has bolstered its mortgage business with the hire of industry veteran Darin Lugat, following a reorganization of its mortgage divisions to align with the bank’s retail operations.

Starting Monday, he will be the new division lending executive for New York, New Jersey and Northeast Suburban, according to an emailed news release from a Citi spokesman.

Lugat came to Citi’s lending operation after spending eight years as a market manager for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, the top depositary bank by origination volume in the U.S. He previously spent 16 years at American Home Mortgage and seven years at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The executive will report to Liz Bryant, head of retail mortgage sales. Like Lugat, Bryant came to Citi directly from Wells Fargo. She joined Citi in August 2021, where she’s made use of her expertise in sales and fulfillment and her experience in operations and risks and controls.

Beginning late last year, Bryant was tasked with reorganizing Citi Mortgage, in an effort to better align with Citi’s retail banking division.

Amid the division’s restructuring, in January, Cyndee Kendall became responsible for Northern California and Stephanie Christie for Southern California. In March, Mike Fauth was named lending executive for the Central Southeast Division of Washington, D.C., Southeast Florida and Illinois.

Citi was the 23rd-largest residential mortgage lender in America by origination volume in the first quarter, according to a data analysis by Inside Mortgage Finance. The bank funded $6.7 billion in residential mortgages during the period, a decrease of 2.5% quarter-over-quarter and 17.2% year-over-year.   

Lugat’s departure comes at a difficult time for Wells Fargo, which is facing its second round of layoffs. The bank will cut 125 employees in its home lending division in Iowa by the end of August. 

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