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Citigroup Inc. is setting up a team of ESG experts in Tokyo as the U.S. bank pushes globally to capitalize on companies’ sustainability goals.

The firm’s Japanese banking and brokerage arms selected 10 people in January to serve as specialists in environmental, social and governance factors, said Citigroup Japan Holdings GK Chairman Fumiaki Kurahara in an interview. One goal is strengthening Citigroup’s ability to advise clients on ESG in order to land relevant deals, such as underwriting green bonds.

“There is no doubt that every company is thinking that it has to do something” to become more sustainable, said Kurahara, who is also a member of the team. “ESG will become a fundamental knowledge that financial professionals must have.”

Citigroup last year set up a global division focusing on sustainability, joining rivals including Barclays PLC in trying to win more business. BloombergNEF expects about $1 trillion in ESG debt instruments to be issued in 2021.

Citigroup has recently signed an ESG advisory contract with one Japanese company, which Kurahara said will bring in fees, declining to give further details. The brokerage has been offering about 15 companies free advice since last year, in sectors ranging from oil and gas to maritime transportation to real estate.

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