Citi Named to Fast Company's Best Workplaces for Innovators List
July 30, 2020 02:00 PM
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller
It's amazing how quickly things change. In recent years, we've seen society transform with unprecedented speed. The gig economy has created opportunity for millions of people. Blockchain is revolutionizing how we transact with each other. ESG has become a central consideration for many companies. Celebrated institutions like Radio Shack and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus have closed their doors, while new obsessions like at-home stationary bikes and plant-based meat substitutes have come to the fore.
Change occurs exponentially, and recent advances in technology, responses to societal challenges and shifting human behavior have only accelerated this unprecedented development across the globe. While much of this change has been for the better, it's important to recognize that not everyone has benefited equally. Many individuals, organizations, communities and countries have experienced this shift to the future unevenly – or have been left behind altogether.
When we speak of innovation at Citi, we do so in the context of our mission to enable growth and progress around the world. For us, innovation is a force for good, which is why, as the world's most global bank, we've leveraged our unique footprint and resources to expand our firm's capacity to innovate. In turn, it's clear that this has deepened the commitment to innovation held by our colleagues. The forward-thinking products and services they develop, in addition to the novel initiatives they spearhead, prioritize the needs and aspirations of our clients, customers and communities.
We're thrilled to announce that Fast Company has included Citi on its 2020 list of the Best Workplaces for Innovators. This is the result of a culture at Citi conducive to innovation, where all colleagues – from our class of summer analysts and associates to our senior leadership – feel empowered not only to innovate, but to innovate with purpose. It's equally reflective of the emphasis we place on bringing new teammates to our firm who embrace change, endeavor to anticipate the challenges faced by those we serve, and are able to turn ideas into tangible solutions.
To celebrate this recognition, we've asked leaders throughout our firm to reflect on how they're encouraging innovation across our businesses and functions. They've shared some tremendous examples of the work we're doing at Citi and how it's proving beneficial to our firm and beyond. It makes us excited for what our future holds.
Vanessa Colella, Chief Innovation Officer, Head of Citi Ventures and Head of Citi Productivity
Now more than ever innovation is essential to driving financial and social progress and solving some of our most complex global challenges. At Citi Ventures, we accelerate the adoption of new business models and help discover new sources of value by exploring, incubating, and investing in new ideas. As I think about what's next, I see significant opportunities for the bank to be a part of the solution, helping people, businesses and communities thrive. In order to do that we need to continue to embrace diversity of thought, experience and approach to attract tomorrow's innovators.
Ed Skyler, Head of Global Public Affairs
Earlier this year, we launched the Citi Impact Fund, which aims to invest $150 million of our own capital into "double bottom line" companies developing innovations that will have a positive impact on society. This is the largest fund of its kind created by a bank with its own capital. The fund is also actively seeking opportunities to invest in women- and minority-owned startups, with the recognition that these businesses have traditionally received disproportionately lower amounts of available venture capital funding. In all, the Citi Impact Fund exemplifies our commitment to critical issues like workforce development, increasing access to the financial system, infrastructure and sustainability.
Sara Wechter, Global Head of Human Resources
As we continue to innovate to ensure our hiring practices are inclusive of non-traditional backgrounds, we have been working closely with Pursuit, an organization that trains adults with the most need and potential to get their first tech jobs, advance in their careers, and become the next generation of leaders in tech. For the past two years, we waived the college degree and GPA requirement for our Technology Summer Analyst Programs for Pursuit fellows. We are so excited to bring this group of new talent and diverse perspectives onto the Citi team!
Mike Whitaker, Head of Enterprise Infrastructure, Operations and Technology
We run an Engineering Excellence program in ICG to train our technology development teams on how to build software that supports diverse needs. Thanks to this program, we have improved accessibility in offices around the world and we have significantly improved our onboarding process, so that colleagues with disabilities have access to the equipment they need from day one of their employment.
Gulru Atak, Global Head of Innovation, Treasury and Trade Solutions
Citi Innovation Labs are pillars for the forward-looking solutions we bring to our institutional clients and to our colleagues around the world. With teams comprised of technologists, data scientists and designers, our innovation labs experiment and develop prototypes of next-generation solutions including the latest advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning. For example, our Lab recently developed Citi's Payment Outlier Detection solution for our TTS clients. This solution enables our clients to process payments quicker by using machine learning algorithms to analyze payment patterns and automatically flag anomalous payments that don't reflect clients' previous patterns, allowing clients to approve or reject outlier payments.
Emily Turner, Head of Innovation and Business Development, Citi Institutional Clients Group
We are committed to always improving how we serve our clients and providing value to their businesses. Central to our ability to achieve this aim is our talent. By supporting colleagues and, importantly, their pursuit of innovative ideas, we are bringing solutions beyond traditional banking services to Citi's clients. A great example of this is the launch of Proxymity, a digital investor communications platform, which was founded by two Markets and Securities Services colleagues and recently became an independent company backed by $20.5 in funding from a consortium of industry partners. To date, Proxymity has supported thousands of shareholder meetings in the UK, Europe and Australia.
Shadman Zafar, Head of Technology, Citi Global Consumer Bank
We are driving a culture of disciplined innovation—innovation with commitment to our governance and controls—that enables us to safely and continuously improve customer experience, product design and operating efficiency. In addition, our journey towards agile is driving deep integration and seamless partnership across the bank, enabling us to deliver new, end-to-end digital capabilities to our customers faster than ever before.