China Seminar | 18 January 1996

Citibank Returns to China

Raymund A. Kathe Raymund A. Kathe
Henry Sperry Henry Sperry

Please join us for a fascinating look at life and work in China and Asia by Raymund Kathe with remarks by Henry Sperry. Late in 1995, Raymund and Jacqueline Kathe attended the reopening of Citibank in Beijing. The gala event ended a hiatus of 46 years for the bank in China and for Raymund Kathe who was at its closure in 1949.

Born in Lakewood, Ohio, Raymund Kathe graduated from Miami University and the School of Overseas Administration at Harvard University, and he served as a U.S. Army Air Corps instructor with the Chinese Air Force during World War II. He joined Citibank in 1946 and saw assignments to China and Japan. On loan from Citibank, Mr. Kathe was advisor to the Bank of Korea in 1954. In 1959, he became manager of the bank in Hong Kong, and was appointed a vice president at the head office in 1962, returning to Tokyo in 1964. For the next five years he was head office supervisor for operations in Asia and Australia/New Zealand. In 1969 he became a senior vice president. He retired in 1984 from Citibank N.A. as senior corporate officer for Asia/Pacific, including membership on the Policy Committee of Citicorps/Citibank. For the next ten years, Mr. Kathe served as international advisor to the chairman of the Bank of Hawaii.

Among his numerous professional and civic activities in the Asia-Pacific Region, Mr. Kathe was founding chairman of the Asia/Pacific Capital Corporation, Hong Kong, and a director/chairman of a number of Citicorp/Citibank subsidiaries and affiliates in Japan, Hongkong, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand. He is a former president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan and former chairman of the Asia-Pacific Council of the American Chambers of Commerce. Well known as an “Asia hand” in America, in Asia Mr. Kathe is often hailed as “Mr. Asia.” The Kathes now live in Key Biscayne, Florida, and part time in Honolulu.

For the CHINA SEMINAR, Mr. Kathe will be joined by a well-known “China hand,” Henry Sperry. Also with Citibank, Mr. Sperry saw extensive work for the bank in China and Hong Kong. His China dates were: 1933-36 Shanghai, 1939-40 Hankou, 1940-41 Shanghai (interned in the Philippines 1941-45), 1946-49 Shanghai, and then Hong Kong. He is knowledgeable in such topics as silver, currency, and the Nanking Massacre. Mr. Sperry and his wife Nancy live part time in Hawaii.