Can Wealth at Work become a blueprint for the industry?
Citi’s Wealth at Work, which delivers wealth services to white-collar professionals in sectors from law and asset management to private equity, is less than two years old. Its founder and global head Naz Vahid talks to Euromoney about the concept and where the division can go from here.
When Jim O’Donnell was made head of Citi Global Wealth (CGW) in January 2021, one of the first people he reached out to was Naz Vahid.
It made sense. O’Donnell had been tasked by incoming chief executive Jane Fraser with squeezing more out of Citi’s private bank and tapping its under-explored potential. The new wealth unit was Fraser’s plan to make it into a joined-up machine, instead of a jumble of often disconnected parts.
Vahid, a 37-year veteran of the US lender, had overseen one of these parts for the previous 12 years. She had run the private bank’s Law Firm Group (LFG) since 2009, transforming it into a cash generator serving the wealth needs of 50,000 partners and associates at 1,000 law firms in the US and Europe.
In that period, she had overseen a jump in annual revenues from $200 million the year she joined, to more than $700 million in 2021.
“The majority of our growth is in the last 10 years,” Vahid tells Euromoney. “Yes, we’ve been around for 50 years, but we more than tripled in size in the last 10.”
O’Donnell could see this. Citi had a great private bank, led by Ida Liu and serving global high and ultra-high net-worth clients with an average net worth of $400 million.