Finance

Read the full memo from Citi’s top brass revealing its new wealth division on the heels of big consumer bank leadership changes (C)

  • The division will bring together Citi’s private bank, which sat under its institutional business, and wealth units run by its US consumer bank including Citi Personal Wealth Management. 
  • The division will bring together Citi’s private bank and international personal bank, its consumer wealth organization, and Citi Personal Wealth Management. 
  • Jim O’Donnell will report to Anand Selva, who heads up the bank’s global consumer banking operations, and Paco Ybarra, chief of the bank’s Institutional Clients Group. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Citi is forming a new wealth management division that will be led by Citi veteran Jim O’Donnell, according to a memo to employees from Chief Executive Michael Corbat, who is set to step down next month, and his successor Jane Fraser.

The division will bring together Citi’s private bank, which sat under its institutional business, and wealth units run by its US consumer bank including Citi Personal Wealth Management. 

O’Donnell, formerly global head of investor sales and relationship management, will spend the next few months developing the strategy and organizational design for the new unit, the memo said. He will report to Anand Selva, who heads up the bank’s global consumer banking operations, and Paco Ybarra, chief of the bank’s Institutional Clients Group. 

The organizational shift came one day after Citi announced internally that it would name new leaders in its consumer bank under Selva, who replaced Fraser as head of the consumer business. 

Read more: Citi just announced a leadership reshuffle in its consumer bank as new head Anand Selva takes the reins, and the promotions point to a big digital push

Citi, the third-largest US bank by assets, has looked to beef up its wealth offerings with new structures and hires in the last year. In June the bank tapped David Poole, a leader from Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch Wealth Management business with an eye to digital wealth offerings, to head the US consumer wealth business. 

“Making wealth management a key differentiator and source of enhanced returns for Citi will be an important element of our strategy going forward,” Corbat and Fraser said in the memo. “Putting the full force of our firm behind an offering in this way reflects the approach we’re taking to transforming our bank.”

Citi’s strategy to bring together disparate wealth businesses under one division is similar to one other firms are employing, like JPMorgan’s move to create its US wealth business. 

Here is the full memo that Corbat and Fraser sent Citi employees on Wednesday.

We are seeing once-in-a-generation wealth creation in many parts of the world, particularly Asia. With our unique capabilities and assets, Citi has both the opportunity and the ambition to lead our industry in wealth management. We are going to put the full force of the firm behind this effort to create a single, integrated platform that will serve clients from the affluent level all the way through to ultra-high net worth individuals and households.

Our new, unified wealth management business will be called Citi Global Wealth and will be led by Jim O’Donnell, formerly Global Head of Investor Sales and Relationship Management. It will integrate the Citi Private Bank and the Consumer Wealth organization, including the International Personal Bank and Citi Personal Wealth Management. Jim will report to both Anand and Paco.

By putting these pieces of our firm together in this unique way, we will have all the components we need to win. Our world-class capital markets expertise, global footprint that distinguishes us from competitors, high quality research, great talent and an aspirational brand—all appeal to this broad client base. We also have the ability to source the best asset management partners for our clients based on their needs rather than our own offerings. And we will benefit from having a strong Commercial Bank that serves a market segment where wealth is created and grows.

Jim will spend the next few months in his new role developing the strategy and organizational design for this new business. He will engage various stakeholders and colleagues to inform his efforts. Jim brings a winning mindset and track record to his new role. Under his leadership during the last 10 years, we have become the number one Markets salesforce and have retained our position as the leader in global fixed income market share for five consecutive years. 

Making wealth management a key differentiator and source of enhanced returns for Citi will be an important element of our strategy going forward. Putting the full force of our firm behind an offering in this way reflects the approach we’re taking to transforming our bank. This appointment, along with other GCB and ICG leadership announcements made earlier this week, is a testament to the abundance of talent we have at Citi and the importance of increasing the mobility and development of our people. Jim’s successor for the role as Global Head of Investor Sales and Relationship Management will be announced when that person is selected.

Please join us in congratulating Jim on his new position and in looking forward to the benefits a full-spectrum wealth business will provide for our clients and our firm.

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