July 25, 2024

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Reorganization Spurs Synergies: Q&A With Citi Commerical Bank’s Raymond Gatcliffe

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Home Banking Reorganization Spurs Synergies: Q&A With Citi Commerical Bank’s Raymond Gatcliffe

Head of Commercial Bank in North America at Citi discusses the company’s reorganization of its banking lines with Global Finance.

In mid-September, Citi CEO Jane Fraser announced a comprehensive reorganization of the banking giant. Part of the simplified operations model included putting its commercial banking, corporate banking and investment banking businesses under one Banking business line. Global Finance met Citi’s Raymond Gatcliffe, head of commercial bank, North America, to discuss the changes and their results.

Global Finance: Have there been any immediate synergies since CEO Jane Fraser’s September reorganization announcement, or is everything still a work in process?

Gatcliffe: Placing investment banking, commercial banking and corporate banking on an even playing field within banking, allows for more collaborative engagement. We have seen that since the announcements, and we’ve seen a lot of internal initiatives looking to see how we can increase the level of collaboration synergies and initiatives where we — with investment banking, can sharpen how we think about serving clients and how we bring the best of Citi to our clients.

Citi has a top global investment bank, and it is really about how we bring the best of that top global investment bank to our commercial banking clients more effectively. One way that we have done that is by the commercial bank adopting an industry coverage approach, which is the same way the investment bank and the corporate bank cover clients. So, by three banking organizations covering clients through an industry or sector lens, we see more collaboration, sharing of content and advice, and ultimately winning.

Gatcliffe: The initiative to change to sector coverage was initiated in 2022, but I think some of the initiatives that have come after September, in particular with the investment bank, have sharpened the focus and aligned the resources between the commercial bank and the investment bank.

GF: Was this coverage change a post-September or a pre-September change for commercial banking?

For example, we have co-located commercial, corporate and investment bankers on the same industry sector floors at our head office at 388 Greenwich St. in New York. That speaks to that level of partnership, collaboration, synchronicity and focus. We see that as one of the biggest opportunities to grow the commercial bank alongside our banking colleagues.

GF: With the new synergies, where does commercial banking stop and corporate banking begin?

Gatcliffe: We separate commercial and corporate banking by classifying clients with revenues or sales less than $3 billion predominantly served by the Commercial Bank and clients above $3 billion being served by the Corporate Bank. We look very carefully at how we cover them. However, many clients have more than $3 billion in sales per year. But if you want a general differentiation, it’s about $3 billion in sales or revenues.

GF: And with $3 billion in sales, that goes beyond SME status, wouldn’t it?

Gatcliffe: Yes. But Commercial Banking begins at $10 million in sales or revenues, up to $3 billion and sometimes over that. Overall, we are far more focused on where Citi Commercial Bank can bring the most value through our global network spanning more than 95 countries, our deep bench of expertise, and our wide variety of products and solutions across our businesses. We aim to offer the mid-market the same level of service and the same products that large caps get through their banks.

Companies that are more mid-sized and have cross-border needs can get the most out of banking with us. However, we cover clients across the sales or revenue spectrum with varying strategic goals. Clients with $10 million in sales, whom we call emerging growth companies, innovators or disruptors for startups, are also covered by Citi. Often, these companies are born with the potential to scale globally, so they benefit from our international presence and range of products. So, we cover the startup community as well in the commercial bank.

GF: Have any additional features been rolled out to the CitiDirect Commercial Banking platform?

Gatcliffe: We have been rolling out different functionalities, so basic visibility, payments, information, records and statements were the early functionality.

Now, we’re rolling into foreign exchange, moving into loans and accessing loans, and introducing different new functionalities.

We are constantly adding new functionality and also giving clients the ability to self-serve some of the things that they would call in our service centers to get done; they can get that information, they can get that access, they can get that question answered through the information that they would have on CitiDirect Commercial Banking. The platform will continue to evolve as it was created with user or client input and we continue to seek feedback on usability as well as where improvements are necessary.

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