IBM mainframes support the company's technical infrastructure. HPs, Suns, DECs, and Compaqs represent the server side. The Business Services group has 70 NT servers and 600 workstations, connected over T3 lines. GCIB has 75,000 PCs, including 30,000 servers. Development in Business Services is in C, C++, COBOL, Java, Oracle, Sybase and OLAP products. GCIB uses these languages and tools, in a DB2 environment, along with Visual Basic, Active Server Pages (ASP), JavaScript, Visual Interdev, Java Swing, and Universal Database (UDB). Additional packages used in Business Services include McCormack and Dodge, Flexi, Sbase, Cognos, and Powerplay.

The company was an early adopter of wireless email systems, such as the Blackberry and has connected Palm Pilots to the desktops of its 11,000 financial consultants in 5,000 offices. Those desktops are also connected to video servers for daily information broadcasts and training. Business Services' current technology initiatives center around web portals and single-point authentication. GCIB has installed an IBM text-to-voice system for its visually impaired financial consultants and is installing imaging technology so its overseas clients can review and track documents, such as a letter of credit, scanned in at another branch.

A sample project for Business Services includes the 500,000 lines of code toolkit that re-engineered all regulatory filings for Y2K. This was written in C, using Crystal Reports, the ERWin data modeling tool, and Oracle. A GCIB sample project involves managing the employee stock option program for Microsoft's employees who have an icon on their screens that shows them the value of their options, how many are vested, and a button to exercise them and send a check to their bank account. On another project, the company's retail investors can access a web site, which now has 8 million hits a day, to view real and virtual portfolios, get research, communicate with their financial consultant, buy and sell equities and mutual funds, and do option trading. For this application, staff members are porting the software from IBM S7As (AIX) to IBM mainframes for the backend and Sun web servers on the front end, under DB2.

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In New York City, technical professionals work at 399 Park Avenue 10022 (212-559-1000). In Tampa, Florida, where Business Services is based, offices are at 3800 Citibank Way, 33607. In New York city, offices are in a high-rise building. Outside of New York, offices are typically in campus settings. As Halpin notes, "I am looking at palm trees." Technical staff members at all sites typically work in private cubicles. Dress, for the most part, even in New York, is business casual, although for some groups in New York, with more client interface, dress is business formal. New Yorkers average 40 hours a week, peaking to 50 as needed, with flextime and PCs at home. Outside New York, the workweek averages 50 hours a week, also with PCs at home. Travel represents 15 to 20 percent of a staff member's time. A twenty-minute commute in Florida is average, while an hour in New York is common.

Benefits include medical and dental plans and a wealth-building program with stock options for all employees. Citigroup announced a 4-for-3 stock split in August, 2000.The company observes 10 holidays and offers 12 sick days. Social activities include company-sponsored basketball and soccer teams, as well as volunteer walks for juvenile diabetes and MS. In 1998, as part of the merger with Traveler's, Citigroup laid off 10,000 employees. They were given two weeks of severance for each year of service, and outplacement services, such as help in resume writing and interviewing.

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Citigroup's history began in 1812 with the founding of a new bank for the merchants and industrialists of New York City, just as the United States was about to enter a war with Great Britain. They needed to replace the city's Bank of the United States, which had a substantial portion of its assets, mostly government funds, in Europe and had recently lost its charter. Col. Samuel Osgood, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War, friends with George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, the first Commissioner of the Treasury and first Postmaster General, pushed Congress to charter a new bank, the City Bank of New York, then became its first President. With revolutionary programs to help small investors, like checking accounts with no minimum balance, and compounded interest savings accounts, Citibank was the largest bank in New York by 1893 and the largest in the United States by 1894. It was the first major U.S. bank to open a foreign branch - in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1914. Its innovations were not only in financial services. In addition to its successful introduction of ATM technology, in 1985 the bank introduced Direct Access, linking its customers through their personal computers at home or in the office. A year later, it introduced touch-screen ATMs.

A review of Citigroup's business progression may be helpful. Citibank bought Diner's Club in 1981. Primerica Financial, a mutual fund firm, bought Smith Barney in 1987 and combined it with Shearson Lehman in 1993. In 1993, Primerica also bought Traveler's Insurance. In 1997, it acquired Salomon, Inc., combining it with Smith Barney. In 1998, Traveler's and Citibank merged to become Citigroup. Competitors like Bank of America, Chase Manhattan, and Merrill Lynch in banking and brokerage services, or AIG in insurance, or American Express in credit cards, do not have the breadth of financial services that Citigroup offers, nor the geographic reach.

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Citigroup has 5,000 technical professionals worldwide. This includes 3,000 in New York, 2,200 in Hartford, Connecticut, 200 in Florida, and 500 at the company's software subsidiary in India. Business Services handles three functional areas: worldwide consumer services, worldwide corporate banking, and middle office services that cross departmental boundaries, such as real estate, human resources, credit exposure by country, and trading rooms across the company. Most technical professionals in Business Services have a Master's degree, and an average of five years of experience. In GCIB experience ranges from zero to twenty-five years, with a Bachelor's degree the average level of education. The career path includes Programmer, Programmer Analyst, Systems Analyst, Project Manager, Area Manager/Technical Consultant, Department Manager/Senior Technical Consultant, Division Manager, and CIO.

Citigroup hired 600 technical professionals for GCIB and 100 for its Business Services Group in the past year. Top schools for GCIB recruiting include Rutgers, Stevens, Stonybrooke, and New York University (NYU). Says Peggy Corrigan, Vice President, and Manger of Technical Staffing, for GCIB, "We look for college recruits who are eager not arrogant. Our managers are incentivized to help people grow; our career mobility program is a differentiator in the industry."

Business Services rarely hires entry-level candidates. Turnover ranges from 12 to 16 percent. In addition to relevant technical skills experience in the financial industry is valued. Says Halpin, "People usually have dual backgrounds. It helps to understand the language." Adds Taub, "We look for team players who can show a record of accomplishment." Continues Taub, "We are all tied to everyone's success. We encourage people to communicate openly and help others. Problems don't age well."

Candidates are found through employee referrals (29 percent), internal transfers (15 percent), and a combination of open houses, advertising, college recruiting, and online recruiting.

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Job Title






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  • Computerworld, "Citigroup Tests Wireless Services in Japan," June 12, 2000
  • Computerworld, "Citigroup Unveils Wireless Banking Plans, August 12, 1999
  • The Industry Standard, "Citigroup, Commerce One to Create Portal," February 17, 2000
  • Wired, "The Future of Money," October, 1996
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