Citi has promoted Sandeep Arora as the Head of Digital and Chief Investment Officer for its Institutional Clients Group (ICG) division.
Citi’s ICG division offers a variety of wholesale banking products and services and works to provide these services for corporations, financial institutions, public sector entities and others. Arora will specifically focus on accelerating the ICG digital strategy, according to a Citi announcement emailed to FinLedger. In collaboration with all the lines of business, he’ll also bolster adoption of the digital services already deployed.
He will also lead an API-first strategy that aims to give clients direct access to the division’s capabilities. Since he is also the ICG CIO, he will drive consistency and “best practices” in investment decisions, approach and portfolio management by working with the investment teams.
Previously, Arora was managing the Markets & Securities Services FinTech investment portfolio and was developing a strategy and execution for ICG electronic platforms. Arora has worked for Citi for more than three decades.
Arora told FinLedger in an interview that he feels that its largest clients are working with the bank across many products.
“We’ve felt that as client expectations rise, particularly in this digital age [and] especially in their personal lives as they have these slick, easy-to-use apps that we really need to up our game,” Arora said.
Citi also has a great track record of making fintech investments, Arora said.
“Especially as the world becomes more tech API-oriented, we find [that with] many tech components of our stack, we can partner with an external company as opposed to building them,” he said. “Essentially, we’ve also found that taking an equity stake of 5% to 7%, provides a deep relationship with the CEO, the founder and actually gives us a good lens in terms of future technologies and helps us partner with these fintechs.”
Arora has also identified a variety of areas where the division can improve the client experience with the existing infrastructure, and has built a program management team that is working to provide what the client needs.
Going forward, he does see a lot of opportunity in making the client experience more streamlined and user friendly.
“I think with this role, with the investments we’ll do both from an expense standpoint, plus in terms of the investments we’ll do partnering with the fintechs, we can really provide our clients with excellent user experiences.”
In other recent banktech news Beam is banned from operating a mobile banking app or “any other product or service that can be used to deposit, store, or withdraw funds,” as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, according to a press release. The agreement still needs to be approved by a district court judge in San Francisco, according to CNBC.