Julie Monaco's been head of Citigroup's Global Transaction Services in North America for a little over a year and has already made a number of moves to tap underserved customers and spur healthy growth of her line of business.

Upon taking the reins of the North American unit, in which Monaco works as part of a team of executives that oversees global transactions in other parts of the world, she quickly aligned sales strategy along client segments rather than the traditional GTS tack of molding products to the requirements of a specific client.

"She is intensely segment focused, and that allows us to truly find niches of client needs in various segments, which in turn has helped us find ways to strengthen our offering through product development, packaging, or both," says Amol Gupte, head of treasury and trade for the GTS unit. "It's been useful and it makes for an even more compelling pitch to clients."

Monaco also organized and staffed teams to identify underserved large corporate, public sector, investor and bank segments, introduced prepaid cards to the public sector segment and shored up internal communication gaps between trade finance and payments teams. And she personally worked to develop a partnership with Ariba, the market's largest network of e-invoicing suppliers. The result was "Citi Procure to Pay," which allows the GTS unit to provide end-to-end payments to large corporate clients.

Another move was the creation of the Bank Vertical Segment, which focuses on the needs of regional and large local banks serving middle market and small business customers - a demographic that's become increasingly global in nature.

The numbers speak for themselves. Citi's North American GTS revenues have grown 39 percent, net income has spike 51 percent and sales increased 92 percent from 2006 to 2007. And the success has continued into 2008, as net interest revenue from GTS grew to $1.2 billion in 2Q 2008 from $900 million in 2007 - a 30 percent boost.

"Creating a [North American] region was no small feat," says Monaco. "It required convincing people to do things differently than they did in the past. They had to give up some global responsibility and just concentrate on North America. But if they limited their focus in this way, we could get deeper penetration. And it has been a success." (c) 2008 U.S. Banker and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.americanbanker.com/usb.html/ http://www.sourcemedia.com/

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