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Citigroup targets the very rich

Citigroup's Salomon Smith Barney Private Client Services (SSB PCS) wants you — if you have $500,000 to invest.

Citigroup today opened the regional office of Salomon Smith Barney Private Client Services (SSB PCS), a division focused on servicing the financial needs of the very rich. Only investors with at least $500,000 at their disposal can become a customer of SSB PCS, which aims to provide the region with, ‘world-class market research, investment products, financial structures and wealth management advice.’

“SSB PCS has a lot to offer the Middle East investor — not least the peace of mind that comes with dealing with one of the world’s leading names in wealth management advice and overall investment advisory services,” said Christopher Preston, head of Citigroup’s EMEA wealth management division.

The new operation will be headed by Vinay Kapoor, who has 13 years of regional experience, and will initially have a team of twelve people. It will offer its own and third party investment products, and both conventional and Shariah-compliant products.

Company executives said that the stock market turmoil of the last two years and September 11 have not discouraged regional investors from putting their money into equity markets. The repatriation of Middle East wealth that some predicted after September 11 also has not materialised, they added.

SSB PCS’s parent company, Citigroup, is the world’s largest financial services company with around $700 billion in assets. It made net income of $14.126 billion in 2001 on turnover of around $125 billion.

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