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November 1, 2004

Citigroup's Clearing Empire

By Staff Reports

The biggest shake-up in the mundane business of correspondent clearing could be around the corner. Citigroup, the financial services superpower, is planning to begin a clearing operation for institutional accounts. Citi's entry has stunned some players. Its huge capital base and equity order flow, as well as skilled execution services, are enough to send blood pressure rising in boardrooms. The Citi operation is scheduled for a full launch next year.

Despite the threat, Citi has signaled it will start slowly. It has hired about a dozen professionals, including a group of client relationship pros. The unit is headed by Joe Moschella, a managing director and a career executive at Citi. Citi expects to branch out into various services, including broker dealer business, retail flows and market making activities. An official said Citi will leverage its own backoffice infrastructure.