Thursday, February 24, 2011

CFN Industry Event: "The Doors Are Open"

With the darkest days of financial turmoil offset by recovery, clean-up and optimism, Citi says its doors are open--especially for diverse, experienced talent.

Nearly 100 Consortium alumni, students, MLT alumni, Citi recruiters, traders and bankers attended the Consortium Finance Network's industry perspectives and networking event at Citi in New York Feb. 24.  The CFN event was co-sponsored by the Consortium, MLT and Citi's Institutional Clients Group (ICG). 

Citi's Tyler Dickson, a managing director who oversees global capital-markets origination, announced to the audience that Citi is keenly and eagerly ready to recruit lateral talent--experienced bankers, traders and salespeople.  "We may have missed (hiring you) the first time, " he said. "But we're interested in talking to you now."

Dickson, who has been at Salomon Bros. and Citi since 1989, discussed the bank's campaign in its ICG group to expand and hire more people with significant, meaningful experience and people with diverse backgrounds. This would include people who have done deals, made loans, managed clients, reviewed risks, or have account portfolios.  Citi, just like its peer competition, wants to make sure it doesn't skimp on talent from under-represented groups--especially now that banks have progressed beyond the scares and close calls from the financial crisis.

Dickson, who manages a sector of over 900 bankers involved in loan, bond and stock underwriting around the world, is also on the board of MLT.

Consortium Vice President Development Anthony Davis and MLT President Ian Hardman provided updates and remarks from the Consortium and MLT before the panel discussion. 

Consortium alum Nadine Burnett was one of four panelists who presented their views of the current economy, described their career experiences at Citi, and offered advice on how to pursue roles in their respective business groups.  Burnett, a Consortium graduate of Virginia-Darden, is a corporate banker (Vice President) in Citi's investment-banking healthcare group.  On the panel, she shared details of her daily responsibilities. She is charged with delivering a suite of products and services to health-care clients in the U.S. 

She explained the difference in the roles of a corporate banker vs. an investment banker (in the combined investment- and corporate-banking groups at Citi). She said investment bankers focus on M&A and equity- and bond-underwriting.  Corporate bankers focus on corporate loans, foreign exchange, derivative sales, and transaction services (cash management, securities services).

Burnett had stints at Bank of America and JPMorgan before she joined Citi five years ago. She is also an INROADS alum.

The panel also included Johny Vlachakis, a Vice President in corporate-bond sales and former military officer, who reflected on the transition from military operations in the desert to the bond-sales desk at Citi.  Vlackachis has an MBA from Cornell-Johnson, a Consortium school.

Consortium alums from the New York area attended the event.  Some students journeyed from as far away as Cornell to be present; some participants traveled from Chicago.

Audience participants asked several follow-up questions, including whether or not the new Dodd-Frank Act will have substantial impact on bank trading desks. Vlachakis said that for his group, if anything, such regulation (including that which will restrict proprietary trading) will "level the playing field" between his firm and such firms as Goldman Sachs.

Other panelists included Glenn Windisch, a director in Global Transaction Services, and Shawn Snyder, a senior associate in Investment Research and Analysis.

During the networking session, event participants gathered in clusters to discuss several areas of institutional banking:  private banking, sales and quantitative analysis, investment banking, and global transaction services.

Citi has been a long-time Consortium sponsor.  It hosted the Consortium Finance Network's special event on transitions and rebranding in May, 2009. The Consortium's annual award for outstanding service from corporate participants is named for Peter Thorpe, a Consortium board member and advisory-board chairman for many years.

Tracy Williams

Consortium and MLT alumni, panelists, Citi officials and other guests gather to discuss opportunities in institutional client banking at Citi. Citi managing director Tyler Dickson, head of global capital-markets origination,  made opening remarks before the panel discussion.

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