Citigroup looks to scrap wealth unit amid restructure

Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jane Fraser is weighing an overhaul of the firm’s most powerful committee of decision makers as she seeks to simplify the Wall Street giant. 

The CEO has discussed adding executives including Andy Morton, who leads the trading division, and Shahmir Khaliq, who runs treasury and trade solutions, to her executive-management team in coming months as longtime deputy Paco Ybarra prepares to leave, according to people familiar with the matter. She’s also considering moving Gonzalo Luchetti, who leads the US personal-banking division, to the top committee, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private matters.

With the moves, Citigroup would officially scrap the two core operating units it has long used to house its many different businesses. Those were the institutional-clients group, which focused on the biggest and most complex customers, and a division serving consumers, which most recently had been called the personal-banking and wealth-management division. 

A spokeswoman for Citigroup declined to comment. 

The decision to scrap the institutional-clients group was previously reported by the Financial Times. 

Fraser said earlier this month that Ybarra will depart after 36 years at the firm. At the time, she said Citigroup would use the coming months to determine how to transition his responsibilities in a way that lines up with the firm’s attempt to simplify its organizational structure.

Fraser had already elevated Anand Selvakesari, who previously oversaw the consumer unit, to become chief operating officer. With Ybarra’s departure, both core units would be left without a leader, making them largely obsolete. By eliminating those overarching units, all of the bank’s core businesses would report directly to Fraser: trading, investment banking, US personal banking, wealth management and a services unit that houses the treasury and trade solutions division as well as securities services.

For months, Fraser has said the effort to rejigger Citigroup’s strategy would allow her to simplify the company’s operations. The CEO has already said that Andy Sieg, who will join Citigroup from Bank of America Corp. to lead its burgeoning wealth business later this year, will report directly to her.  

“We’ll make our organizational structure simpler,” Fraser said at the company’s investor day last year. “It should not come as a surprise to you that becoming a flatter and a leaner organization is a priority for me.”

The headline on the original version of this story suggested Citigroup is looking to scrap its wealth division, which is incorrect.

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