Summer 2014

Business, Banking & Finance
Citi ahead of the curve

Technology and systems have revolutionised the way companies engage with their clients and it is no different in the banking sector, states Dena Brumpton, Citi Private Bank’s Global Chief Operating Officer.  

“We use Kindles to read newspapers and tablets to do our shopping. Technology is all around us and we as a private bank instinctively want to take full advantage of it,” she tells Arabian Knight.

Dena joined Citi Private Bank in 2009 and a central component of her role is to develop strategies and initiatives to best serve the ultra-high-net-worth (UNHW) market.

“The image of Private Banking is changing.  Private Banking is about Private Bankers being the trusted advisors to their clients and most importantly having that personal touch,” she says.

Dena has a clear vision, one which sees the relationship between Private Bankers and clients evolve and enter the modern digital era as part of her developing Citi’s prowess as a “New Century Private Bank”.

“New Century Private Bank is not a gimmick but a concerted effort to see a fully digital form of client engagement,” she explains. “It is about redrawing the Private Banking landscape so that Citi can empower its clients to be able to view their relationship with the bank with greater clarity and with the right tools at their disposal to manage their affairs more actively.”

In March of this year, Citi Private Bank launched a global digital technology platform for its clients, which has revolutionised the way clients engage with their portfolios and the bank.  A culmination of 20 months of preparation, Citi Private Bank created a new ground-breaking engagement tool called ‘Citi Private Bank In View’. The platform offers a single online point of contact for clients and their private banker via mobile and desktop devices, no matter the location.

“The platform is much more than an app,” says Dena. “Citi Private Bank In View aims to fundamentally change how bankers and clients engage with each other. With just a tap or swipe, in time clients will be able to explore their portfolios in detail, look at key metrics, build custom reports, view research and much more.”

Dena is quick to point out that although many banks offer apps and connectivity via tablets and smartphones, many “have yet to integrate the back-office and front-office experiences in a fully digital and meaningful way that enhances and improves the client experience”. In many cases, this failure to overhaul technology platforms is due to the associated high costs and the existence of multiple legacy systems.

Dena also emphasises the fact that this is not about technology replacing personal contact or reducing time given to banker interaction with clients. In View is about accessibility and facilitating contact, regardless of one’s location through a variety of mediums and making client-banker communication easier. 

Citi collaborated with Eight Inc – the same studio which designed the Apple in-store experience – and with the Citi Ventures team on the design process. Citi expects the platform to win over new clients and to enrich its relationship with existing clients around the world.

The platform is multi-layered and multi-faceted. The homepage will display assets and liabilities with the bank, the latest, up-to-date research, changes in portfolios and notifications from the client’s own private banker. Clients can also focus on specific sectors of their profile, from security level to tracking asset allocations against other risk profiles. One particularly noteworthy section is currency and country exposure.

Every detail related to a client’s transactions over the past three years can be accessed. In addition, a substantial library provides research and investment ideas.

One of the unique aspects of Citi Private Bank In View is the Vault. It is a secure storage system which can keep statements, reports and information for clients as well as more personal data, such as passports and property deeds. All of this, thanks to the platform, will be accessible instantly for clients.

Dena states: “In View can analyse changes in market value as they relate to a client’s portfolio. The platform will also provide insight into clients’ equity portfolios, with a view on the most active stocks in a portfolio. In time, clients will also be able to look at portfolio performance based on asset class, time period and more.”

The functionality of In View will continue to evolve in the coming months, with features including video chat between bankers and clients available soon.

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