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Awards for excellence - Citigroup/Salomon Smith Barney

The world’s best credit bond house

Putting a commercial bank with some of the best corporate relationships around the world together with an investment bank whose principal strength was in the bond markets always had the makings of a dominant franchise in credit. That was already showing through last year, when Citigroup won the comparable award of best corporate bond house.

But over the past year the bank has consolidated its position. "People are getting much more comfortable with our capabilities," says Anne Clarke, managing director in Salomon Smith Barney's corporate bond division in New York. "As they start to question their historical bond market relationships, they are turming to us more and more often." US corporates such as American Home Products and Kellogg had never previously mandated Salomon to lead manage their bond deals but both have done in the past year.

Much has to do with the way the bank operates its coverage of corporates. "We have relationship managers who know all the products we can offer, from leasing through to structured finance," says Marwan Marshi, head of US investment grade debt. "They bring in the product specialists as needed."

And it has also been at the forefront of underwriting the superjumbo corporate deals such as WorldCom's $12 billion deal, or France Telecom's $16.4

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