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Citigroup Acquires Respected UK Wealth Manager

by Phillip Morton, Investors

15 December 2006

Citigroup has announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire 100% of Quilter, one of the United Kingdom’s most respected wealth advisory firms, from Morgan Stanley.

The acquisition strengthens Citigroup’s Global Wealth Management (GWM) presence in the United Kingdom, with combined client assets expected to rank it among the top ten UK wealth managers.

With over 18,000 clients and 300 staff located in ten offices throughout the UK, Ireland and the Channel Islands, Quilter represents one of the UK’s largest private client managers, with over GBP5.6 billion ($10.9 billion) of assets under management.

Citigroup said that Quilter's business model, which focuses on discretionary, fee-based wealth advisory services, will complement its current wealth management capabilities, delivered through Citigroup Private Bank and Citigroup Wealth Advisors. Together, they will offer full-service discretionary, advisory, brokerage and other wealth management and private banking services.

Commenting on Wednesday's announcement, Todd Thomson, Chairman and CEO of Citigroup Global Wealth Management, observed: “Over the last two years, Citigroup has focused on building out its wealth management footprint and onshore business model in priority markets – with strategic investments geared especially toward the US, UK, Brazil, India and Greater China. Quilter is an important step in establishing a meaningful presence in the UK, with an excellent platform to support the further growth of our Private Bank and international Smith Barney businesses.”

Marianne Hay, Chief Executive Officer of GWM Europe, added: “Quilter is a first-class business with a strong reputation for delivering high-quality service. By leveraging scale and remaining focused on its clients, Quilter has effectively managed costs whilst preserving an outstanding client experience. I have every confidence that both Quilter’s clients and our own will benefit from this partnership from a very early stage."

John Longley, Citigroup’s Global Head of Citigroup Wealth Advisors (CWA), also noted: “Quilter and CWA share a strategic focus to serve a vital, growing and very attractive segment of the market, one that we have served very well and with great success in the U.S. through our industry leading Smith Barney franchise. I look forward to working closely with Quilter’s management and advisors and to introducing them and their clients to the many benefits of being part of the Citigroup family.“

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2007 and is subject to the requisite regulatory approvals. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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