Citigroup Inc on Monday named Willem Buiter as the bank's new chief economist replacing Lewis Alexander, the bank said.

Buiter will take up his post in January, 2010 and will also lead the economics research unit after joining the Citi Research and Analysis Group management team.

As chief economist, Buiter will act as a senior adviser on global economic issues and within the investment research team, will help analyze economic themes with practical investment applications.

Buiter is currently Professor of Political Economy at the London School of Economics and a widely published author on economic affairs in books, professional journals and the press, the bank said in a press release.

Since 2005, he has been a consultant with Goldman Sachs advising clients on a global basis, according to Citi. Prior to that, he was chief economist for the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development between 2000 and 2005

(Reporting by Nick Olivari; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)