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November 29, 2016 04:00 AM
Eileen Auld, Director, New York Tri-State Market, Citi Community Development
Michael Berkowitz, Managing Director, North America and Global Liquidity Product Head, Citi Treasury & Trade Solutions
Allyson Schlesinger, Managing Director, New York City/New Jersey Market, Global Consumer Bank
The City Profiles series is dedicated to highlighting Citi’s history in some of our key markets around the world. We spoke to three New York-based leaders to get their perspectives on Citi’s ongoing involvement with the city.
What is your favorite milestone from Citi’s history in New York, and how do we continue to enable progress in the city today?
Mike: New York is where it all began. In 1812, our founders wanted to start a new bank in New York to compete with Philadelphia, Boston and Baltimore in supporting international commerce. After overcoming some challenges, the state legislature provided a charter, and we opened our first office at 38 Wall Street.
By Gregg Bishop, Commissioner, New York City Department of Small Business Services November 14, 2016 10:00 AM
One third of New Yorkers are immigrants, yet they own half of all small businesses in the city.
In the face of language, cultural, financial, and other barriers foreign-born residents face to make those businesses succeed, their rate of entrepreneurship outpaces the general population.
That passion and grit is the hallmark of what makes each immigrant an instant New Yorker – and a welcome addition to our city. Despite this resiliency, there are challenges that remain for many immigrant New Yorkers when they hope to launch a small business.
The New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS), with the support of Mayor Bill de Blasio, is committed to supporting the entrepreneurial dreams of immigrants, as we do for all New Yorkers. Immigrant entrepreneurs are creating jobs for themselves, their families and communities, which are critical to a vibrant local economy. This is why our department was proud to partner with the mayor and Citi Community Development to launch the Immigrant Business Initiative.
By Micah Heavener, Managing Director, Global Consumer Bank, Citi & Prior Captain, U.S. Army November 11, 2016 10:00 AM
I am one of America’s 21.2 million veterans. I spent the early 2000s as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army. Part of that time included a year in Afghanistan split between Kandahar and Zabul provinces where I served as a liaison to the United Nations and later with my infantry unit. At the end of my rotation, I faced one of the toughest decisions: what’s next?
Like most veterans, as I was making this transition to civilian life, the last thing I wanted was pity. I wanted to continue to contribute, to be part of a team, and help an organization succeed. I knew I could produce if given the opportunity, but I was not sure how my skills and experiences translated into the private sector.
Luckily for me, I joined a company that actively pursues veterans, and offers programs designed to help them start a career and assimilate into the workforce. Citi’s commitment to veterans did more than offer me the chance to contribute – it was a clear signal the company valued what I had to offer and they were willing to invest in me.
By Marcia Saunders, Managing Director, Securities Services, Citi and NASI Senior Sponsor November 08, 2016 10:45 AM
At Citi, we pride ourselves on our diverse culture and on the wide range of programs and employee volunteer opportunities we have to promote diversity and inclusion across the company. The North American Service Initiative (NASI), which partners with local veteran service organizations (VSO’s) to assist veterans and current service members in their local communities, is part of the company-wide Citi Salutes initiative, which connects veterans with Citi’s broad range of services geared to the military community. These services include opportunities for career advancement and partnerships with leading veteran service organizations and innovative banking services.
Founded on Veterans Day in 2010, NASI and its hundreds of volunteers actively provide hands-on support for local veteran causes and programs. Supported by Citi Community Development, NASI has, for example, organized networking mixers for homeless veterans in Jacksonville, Florida, and bike builds in New York. The NASI network encompasses eight U.S. Citi locations and has impacted more than 13,000 veterans to date in 2016. By building relationships and working with local non-profits and VSOs, NASI volunteers have made a difference in their local communities for the past six years.
By Ernesto Torres Cantu, Chief Executive Officer, Citibanamex, and Bob Annibale, Global Director, Citi Inclusive Finance November 02, 2016 10:00 AM
When Citi announced a US$1 billion investment in Citibanamex – proof of Mexico’s significant role in the bank’s global strategy – we made sure that this investment would be sustainable through the creation of a business unit dedicated to financial inclusion.
Mexico’s residents face significant hurdles to financial inclusion. According to the 2015 Financial Inclusion National Survey, while 8 million adults have opened a bank account for the first time, approximately 38 million remain unbanked. That means more than half of the country’s adult population is cut off from the mainstream banking system. As a result, advances in financial technology are not improving economic outcomes. For instance, just 9.5 percent of adults are using mobile banking, even though 75 percent have a mobile phone.
The Mexican government has taken significant and meaningful steps to expand access, especially with the launch of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy. But these steps are enhanced by partnership with the private sector – and Citi’s investment shows our commitment for the long haul and a formal alignment with Mexico’s national plan.
By Sonia Rahm, Citi Community Capital October 27, 2016 11:00 AM
In Los Angeles, city officials, non-profit organizations and Citi recently gathered for the groundbreaking of a large-scale affordable housing project, underscoring the tremendous need for affordable housing in the second largest city in the U.S.
The new development, Mosaic Gardens at Westlake, will include two adjacent buildings composed of 125 units of affordable housing with 63 of the units reserved for formerly homeless individuals and 62 for working families and seniors. Each building will have its own laundry, community room, roof deck, an onsite gym and a central courtyard connecting the two buildings.
In continued support of the growth and development of Los Angeles, Citi is acting as an investor and lender for the Mosaic Gardens project, collectively providing $40.6 million in construction and permanent loans while acting as the project’s sponsor bank with a $1.2 million affordable housing project loan. Developed by LINC Housing, a non-profit affordable housing developer, Mosaic Gardens is designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification and scheduled to be completed next December.
October 18, 2016 02:00 PM
By Mark Watts, Executive Director of C40, Ani Dasgupta, Global Director of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, and Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation and Director of Corporate Citizenship at Citi
This week in Quito, Ecuador, international leaders have gathered in support of the New Urban Agenda, which lays the groundwork for improving the lives of more than half of the world’s population. Habitat III follows the historic adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015 and the Paris Agreement on climate change in December 2015, marking the logical next step to set the world on a pathway towards more inclusive, sustainable, and thriving cities.
Mayors are key actors in delivering the local action necessary to achieve the targets set in Paris and deliver the New Urban Agenda. Yet, as was highlighted by yesterday’s launch of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) Call for Action on Municipal Infrastructure Finance, mayors face many challenges in delivering sustainable urban development, particularly acute financing challenges. In an environment of constrained municipal budgets, we need to unlock additional funding and finance to deliver sustainable services to the growing urban population.
That’s why C40, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, and the Citi Foundation have joined other sustainable urban finance leaders at Habitat III in Quito to emphasize the critical role of finance in delivering a truly sustainable future. It is time to focus on how local and national governments, financial institutions, and the private sector can work together to mobilize the trillions of dollars of investment needed to turn ambition into action.
From Comic Book Heroes to Cracked Phone Screens - Young Entrepreneurs Have their Sights Set on Success
October 12, 2016 12:30 PM
“We’re just 8th graders!” This disclaimer from youth entrepreneurs Anna Doherty and Hope Sacco sent waves of laughter around the auditorium. The duo might have been only in the 8th grade, but under bright lights, in front of a giant screen and an eager audience, their business pitch at the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (presented by the Citi Foundation) made it clear to hundreds of attendees that the business partners were serious about taking their success to the next level. The Baltimore-based co-founders of Girls Coloring for Change, a coloring book featuring illustrations of inspiring women, wowed guest judges, including returning judge David Chubak, Citi’s Head of Productivity. Their passion for empowering young girls, compelling team dynamic, and early business success in bookstores helped score them points. The pair ultimately walked away with the $25,000 grand prize package, which included a college scholarship and resources to help their business grow.
By Leigh Phillips, Chief Executive, EARN October 05, 2016 01:00 PM
Saving money is an act of hope – and pragmatism– for tomorrow.
Saving money means planning for the best, while being prepared for the worst.
Too many families in America, however, when considering whether to buy a home or save for a child’s college education, lack access to the right tools and support to start saving, build a financial buffer against the unexpected, and invest in the future.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank, approximately one of every two American households are considered “financially fragile,” a status defined by being unable to cover an unexpected $400 expense without going into debt.
EARN -- a national nonprofit helping working families achieve prosperity through savings – is working to address that widespread challenge by connecting low-income families with savings solutions. Our clients are 90% people of color, 76% women, and earn on average $21,000 a year.
Over the past 15 years, our programs have helped more than 6,500 low-income families in California save $7 million of their own money. As we plan for the next 15 years, we have our sights set higher. EARN is pioneering a new approach to savings that leverages technology to provide a range of flexible solutions. Citi’s support has been critical – and will continue to be — to achieve these results.
By Jean Horstman, Chief Executive, Interise September 20, 2016 12:30 PM
Small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all U.S. employers. That’s why when small businesses thrive, our economy and communities thrive.
Yet 96 percent of small businesses fail in the first 10 years of operation.
We need to resolve this shortfall to create more jobs, strengthen cities’ local economies, and create more diversity among successful business owners.
That’s why Interise developed the StreetWise ‘MBA'™, an intensive, hands-on, 13-week mini MBA program to help small business owners with demonstrated potential survive that hazardous and critical start-up phase. CEOs who have themselves achieved early business growth and are motivated to build their own business skills and their network of peer entrepreneurs act as advisors to the program and its participants.
StreetWise ‘MBA'™ entrepreneurs graduate with a three-year strategic growth action plan and the tools, peer and professional networks needed to implement it. In addition, after completing the program small business owners find themselves far better equipped to successfully bid on contracts with government and anchor institutions.