(Adds Citi departures, background on equity derivatives trading)
HONG KONG, July 25 Citigroup Inc has named James Boyle as global head of equity derivatives, according to an internal memo, replacing Simon Yates who left for New York hedge fund Two Sigma Investments LLC in early July.
Yates was the second executive in Citi's equities division to leave the U.S. bank for a hedge fund this year, after global head of equities trading Mike Pringle departed for Moore Capital Management in May.
Boyle will remain based in Hong Kong until the end of this year and move to New York in the new year, according to the memo seen by Reuters on Friday.
A spokesman for Citi in Hong Kong confirmed the contents of the memo.
Boyle started at Citi in 2012 as head of derivatives trading in Asia, shortly afterwards assuming responsibility for all trading in the region. He previously worked at Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel, and before that led global equity derivatives trading at Merrill Lynch.
Equity derivatives are contracts whose value comes from an underlying security such as an individual stock or a basket of shares.
Although trading such instruments can be risky, investment banks globally have bet on them in recent years to bolster equity desks' revenue amid a slump in fees from trading ordinary cash shares.
In Asia last year, banks saw a spike in equity derivatives trading revenue. French bank Societe Generale singled out "strong revenues on flow equity derivatives" in Asia in reporting a 42 percent year-on-year increase in net income at its equities division for the first half of this year. (Reporting by Lawrence White; Editing by Christopher Cushing)