Custom fit

February 01, 2012  

With Citigroup’s private bank focusing on ultrawealthy investors, consultationis in and one-size-fits-all is out.

  Frecentese: As long as there are these big macroeconomic issues, it’s going to be hard to care about microeconomics
Photographs: Dorothy Hong
Like some fund-of-funds managers, Citi Private Bank has shifted into consulting mode with its clients, particularly when it comes to hedge funds.

In Citi’s case, the move away from a one-size-fits-all, off-the-rack type of offering largely reflects a change in who its clients are and how it caters to them. Following the sale of Citi’s Smith Barney business to Morgan Stanley in 2009, the private bank’s clients no longer include the so-called mass affluent. Now Citi’s clients consist almost exclusively of ultrawealthy individuals and institutions. Since their net worth and clout can probably gain them access to any managers they want, what they really need is advice, says Francis Frecentese, global head of hedge fund investments at Citi Private Bank.

"The way I...


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