Institutional powerhouse, Global Reach matches Citi Private Bank in the MENA region

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We’re talking to the private bank about what has placed it ahead of its competitors in the Middle East and North Africa region this year.

The global reach and institutional-level capabilities high net worth clients want to give to Citi Private Bank in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is having a strong impact, as evidenced by its recent award-winning accolades.

Many UHNW clients who run operating companies with business and personal interests spread across the globe need cross-border capabilities, but at the same time they need close personal relationships with their advisors. And that’s a combination that the US-based band says it accomplishes.

“Globalization and institutional solutions are the two key factors
[for the bank]. We do not limit our bankers to the reservation center in which they are located. Customers can open accounts at any of our international hubs through a single relationship manager, ”Samir Raslan, managing director, private banking manager for the MENA region at Citi, said. Press service. recently. (His company recently won a series of WealthBriefing.)

“For example, a Dubai-based banker can open accounts for clients in Geneva, London, New York, Singapore, etc. “The institutional capabilities allow our clients to have the traditional capabilities of private banks, but on top of that, when their transactions are very large or institutional in nature, we can easily access the part of Citi that can provide these tailor-made solutions. The kind of institutional-sized transactions that we can do is not easily done in other private banks. ”

Raslan speaks from the perspective of someone who has worked at Citigroup since 1988, having worked around the world including Asia, Singapore, Japan and Africa. And Raslan has been in the MENA region for a decade.

The region has its challenges but many opportunities.

“The MENA region has a variety of economies: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) economies were largely oil-driven, but many people created wealth in many other ventures. Construction, real estate and agencies for global companies operating in the region are also important sources of wealth. Increasingly, tourism and consumer-related industries have also become a source of wealth, ”said Raslan.

(To see a recent interview with other Citi Private Bank figures on developments, such as the Abraham’s Agreements between the UAE and Israel, click here.)

Raslan said that a distinguishing feature of the bank is that it is not beholden to a branch of asset management managed by the company.

Many banks are part of an asset management branch, but we do not have an asset management branch and we manage money only for the client of the private bank, ”he said. declared. “We have a great team that does due diligence around the world and a lot of work goes into choosing managers. ”

How did colleagues make a difference?

“My colleagues, I think, are the best in the business. We have a very distinguished group of professionals and they have been with Citi for many years. We don’t do a lot of “hiring and firing” and we have a strong culture of teamwork. ”

Asked about the challenges Raslan and his colleagues face, he replied: “All large institutions tend to be a bit heavy on the processes and administrative tasks that need to be done… this is part of the regulatory climate in which we we find. We are continually working to simplify our work environment so that bankers and advisors can spend more time with clients.

“We have good technology, but we really need to take it to the next level. Digitization is going to be crucial for the future, ”he said, noting that there is a continued need to use online tools such as two-way video, document sharing and permissions.

The COVID-19 pandemic has helped the bank use tools like Zoom to more effectively leverage its research results, Raslan said. “We were able to call on talents from all over the world. This hybrid use of technology is going to be very important and it is a development that we plan to use well.

What does the price mean for the firm, staff and clients?

“Our colleagues work very hard and being recognized by external parties is something they really appreciate. These awards are a testament to their hard work and dedication. It is good to see where you are recognized and in which areas.

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