October 22, 2015 11:45 AM
By Luke Palacio, Managing Director, Regional Market Manager, South East Region, Citi Private Bank & Diane Ryan, Managing Director & Southeast Division Manager & Barbara Romani, Citi Community Development Market Manager for Florida
As we launch the City Profiles, dedicated to highlighting Citi’s history in some of our key U.S. markets, we speak with three Miami-based Citi leaders – including Barbara Romani who has worked at Citi for over 53 years! – to get their perspectives on Citi’s ongoing involvement with Miami.
What is your favorite milestone from Citi’s history in Miami and how do we continue to enable progress in the city today?
Diane: Citi has a long retail bank history in Miami dating back to 1926, and I find it very fascinating that we were instrumental in financing the Florida East Coast Railway and 3 other railroads, all serving Florida, in the early 1900’s. I believe the recent launch of the new multi-channel retail distribution model will become a milestone of progress. This new model includes a variety of branch sizes and capabilities, equipped with advanced technology to help better serve the needs of our increasingly digital and global customer base in Miami. Our customers in Miami are very tech savvy and as such Citi is committed to bring to market products and solutions to meet their needs.
Barbara: I have been honored to work at Citi for over 53 years, so I have seen first-hand how the bank has evolved across the country but especially in Miami and South Florida. The city has and always will be a gateway to America for those wanting a better life for themselves and their families. But despite the booming economy and countless high rise condos under construction, the benefits of economic growth in the region are not being felt by everyone. That’s why I am proud that in 2013, Miami was selected as one of 10 target cities to be part of the national Family Assets Count Program, a partnership of Citi Community Development and the Corporation for Enterprise Development, which focuses on developing the next generation of policies and solutions to address growing household financial vulnerability. The program found that in Miami, 67% of households are “liquid asset poor” meaning they do not have enough savings to live above the poverty line for three months in the event of a loss of employment or financial shock. As a result, Citi is working with local policymakers, community groups to help develop programs, services and policies that strengthen financial stability for all Miami’s residents.
Luke: From my perspective, one of the most pivotal milestones in our history in Miami took place in 1999 when we moved the Citi Latin American regional offices to Miami. Miami truly is the gateway to Latin America, and much of our client base has interests and ties to the region. Our ability to work seamlessly with partners in other parts of the bank as well as across Latin America allows us to really deliver for our customers and clients in Miami.