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Citi’s Personal Wealth Management Shifts Towards New Investment Advisory Model

A strategic shift in the retail investment business of Citi Personal Wealth Management

Citi has made a strategic shift in the retail investment business of Citi Personal Wealth Management by focusing qualified Financial Advisors located in Citibank branches on providing fee-only investment advisory services, instead of commission-based transactions

Terri Dial, head of North America Consumer Banking and Global Consumer Strategy, said: “Moving to an investment advisory model is the right decision for our clients and for Citi. This model is where the market is headed and it will help us offer clients greater flexibility, transparency and meaningful investment choices.”

Investment advisory clients may work with a team of Citi Personal Wealth Management’s own investment advisors who will act as fiduciaries. Clients can also work with Citi Personal Wealth Management’s National Investor Center where they can transact on a self-directed basis or after seeking advice from a “coach-on-call,” choosing from an array of individual securities or a select set of advisory products.

Deborah McWhinney, head of Citi Personal Banking and Wealth Management, said: “Citi is in advanced discussions with some of the nation’s top independent RIA businesses and expects to announce agreements in select markets in the near future. Over the next several months, we will announce the formation of Citi Personal Wealth Management investment advisor teams comprising many of our top in-house financial advisors. We also expect to recruit advisors at other firms who are considering becoming independent investment advisors, as this will be an appealing alternative for many of them.”

Citi will also be working with independent Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) to complement its in-house expertise and broaden its geographic coverage. Citi Personal Wealth Management will begin its strategic shift immediately with the formation of Investment Advisor teams in key markets across the country.

Citi Personal Wealth Management, as part of the strategic shift, is also expected to offer clients access to an open platform designed to support the fee-based business. The main focus is to eliminate commission-based compensation to its advisors, transition Citi Personal Wealth Management advisors to function solely as Investment Advisory Representatives, and establish agreements with independent RIA firms around the country by 2011. As a result, Citi Personal Wealth Management will provide customers in the US with transparent, easy-to-understand investment offerings in the business.