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Citi: Record earnings for revamped equity business

A sweeping management reorganization, and a focus on improving its electronic trading capabilities, has made Citi a force to be reckoned with in cash equities and derivatives.

Derek Bandeen, Citi

"There is no second place in electronic trading. With respect to reacting to a specific market opportunity, you are either first or you are nowhere"

Derek Bandeen, Citi

It would be easy for the incoming management at Citi’s markets and investment banking business to demonize predecessors as failures and emphasize the enormous difficulties they face getting the show back on the road. But Derek Bandeen, who joined as global head of equities in May 2008, having previously risen through the ranks over 22 years to run equities at Morgan Stanley, chooses not to.

Instead, he says he was pleasantly surprised by the strength of the client franchise.

"Research was particularly good and consistently won top-three rankings, especially from long-only accounts. So clients liked us, but we needed to raise our game on the execution side."

He found that operational failures on the execution side would periodically cause long-only clients to stop trading with the bank for a week or two at a time and that the bank’s offering to hedge funds was less impressive.

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