In March, Citigroup announced plans to reorganize its private bank and Global Wealth Management division into four separate units according to client wealth (institutional, ultra high-net-worth, high-net-worth and emerging affluent). The reorganization is primarily a matter of shuffling management, however, and will not force advisors into silos or require them to give up any clients, says Sallie Krawcheck, Chairman and CEO of Citigroup's Global Wealth Management division. Charlie Johnston, current President and CEO of Smith Barney, will become the head of the newly reorganized Wealth Management unit in the U.S. and Canada.
The move is intended to help the firm serve the four wealth segments better, and to allow Smith Barney advisors and private client bankers to work together more seamlessly. “Before the opportunities for collaboration [between Smith Barney and private client advisors who shared clients] weren't there,” says Krawcheck. She says the firm also wants to more closely target its emerging affluent clients. Further, there are currently a lot of redundancies in infrastructure between Smith Barney's family office group (CFO) and its private bank that don't make sense, says a Citigroup spokesman.