Citi Celebrates Year Of Successes

Citi CEO Vikram Pandit has been writing to his staff again, this time summing up the firm's achievements in 2010.

Here's the e-mail:

'Dear Colleagues,

As many of us - including me - spend time with our families and friends, the holiday season is a great time to look back on 2010 and what it has meant for our company.

Full-year results won't be available for several more weeks, but one thing is already certain: 2010 was a crucial year for us, one marked by significant strides in our ongoing effort to turn around this bank. It's the year we posted three straight quarters of strong, positive earnings - continued evidence that we are successfully executing our strategy. It's the year the U.S. Treasury sold all of its remaining shares in our Company - earning the taxpayers a return on their investment in Citi of $12 billion, or 27 percent. It's the year we outlined our global consumer banking strategy, hired top new talent and opened new flagship branches with smart banking technology in Singapore, Hong Kong and New York.

Our financial strength as measured by four pillars - capital, loan loss reserves, structural liquidity and efficiency - has rarely been higher. We believe we are poised to meet and exceed anticipated regulatory requirements.

External audiences are starting to give us the recognition we have earned. Our credit spreads have tightened, analysts increasingly like what they see, and the public is starting to acknowledge the many signs of real progress.

All of this is the result of your efforts to restructure this Company - efforts that so far have yielded the progress we all hoped they would. The past three years have been challenging, but I believe we now have in place all the elements for sustained profitability and responsible growth.

I want to review a few more of this year's milestones.

We continue to derive huge momentum from our business in those regions and countries that are generating the lion's share of global growth. So far this year, our franchise in Asia Pacific has been the largest contributor to the Company's net income. Our deposits in the region stand at record highs, and we have helped our Asian clients raise more than $150 billion from the capital markets, including the largest-ever IPOs in Hong Kong, India, Singapore and the Philippines.

Despite turbulence in the markets, our Latin America business has enjoyed an excellent year so far. We executed several top-level transactions, including a $67 billion equity offering by Petrobras, the largest transaction in global capital markets' history.

In just one year, Banamex added almost one million new customers to its rolls. Total deposits and assets under management grew 10 percent in the last year and currently represent more than 20 percent of all financial savings in Mexico.

In EMEA, I was proud to visit Israel, Ghana, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the UAE this year. Our clients there and throughout the region tell us that they literally can't do business without us. We concluded some significant deals in Europe, including BP's return to the international capital markets following its spill in the Gulf of Mexico, leading a hugely successful $3.5 billion issue that demonstrated its continued market access.

Our Global Transaction Services business - named 2010's Best Global Transaction Banking House by Euromoney - introduced a comprehensive portfolio of private equity custody services worldwide. Over the course of 2010, our Citi Capital Advisors business raised nearly $1 billion of new money from investors.

Non-core assets in Citi Holdings continue to shrink both in dollar terms and as a percentage of our balance sheet - and we expect will stand at less than 20 percent of our total assets by the end of the year.

I'm proud that we are a leader in helping people affected by the financial crisis and the housing slump remain in their homes. Since 2007, we've helped more than one million borrowers in their efforts to avoid potential foreclosure proceedings.

Also this year, Citi worked with two non-profit partners to create the Communities at Work Fund - at $200 million, one of America's largest vehicles for connecting private capital with underserved communities. This effort was just a part of our commitment to practicing Responsible Finance.

The successes of this year significantly add to the transformation and rebirth of our Company. We have a great deal of hard work ahead - hard work that I believe can and should lead to even better years in the future.

Thanks again for all that you do, and have a great holiday season.


Source - The New York Times DealBook column

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