IWinning the Department of Defense's travel card business - the largest travel card program in the world - was hugely important. And Diane Reyes and her team weren't about to let it slip through Citi's fingers.
So the Global Transaction Services team took a crash course on the DOD's specific travel needs and challenges. At the same time, Reyes's staff gathered a cache of external market intelligence to come up with a pitch that was as detailed as it was customized.
The result was a $500 million, 10-year contract-the largest win in Citigroup's GTS history. It's a program that accounts for almost $5 billion of spending by 1.2 million cardholders from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and all independent and intelligence agencies.
"We made every presentation, every discussion and every reply count. We wanted to make sure we put the best content out there," says Reyes. "The DOD felt like it was tailored for what they needed."
As part of the program, Citi is outfitting travel cards for defense employees, providing classroom, Webinar and conference training on the use of the cards at global locations, and providing online diagnostic tools such as fraud alerts and reporting that are customized to command, unit and spend type.
"She knows how companies can improve how they do business. She's seasoned, thoughtful and relationship-minded," says Paul Galant, CEO of Citi Global Transaction Services. "That's what she brought to the DOD transaction. She's not there to tell people things are going to be OK without knowing how it's going to be OK."
The DOD win isn't surprising given Reyes' track record. Under her stewardship, GTS performance has been beyond stellar. The $80 billion-asset unit's revenue growth in the first half of this year jumped 90 percent from the year before to $4.47 billion. Net income was $1.43 billion, a 40 percent jump. (Not for nothing, 2007's full year net income of $2.2 billion was 55 percent better than 2006.)
This success is driven by Reyes' stewardship of a consultative sales culture - which eschews commoditized advice in favor of close contact with clients to forge a collaborative relationship. That has included calling campaigns to clients after Citi's quarterly earnings announcements-which have recently included multi-billion dollar writedowns-to assure customers of the GTS unit's health. (
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