By far the best-kept performance secret at Citi is its Global Transaction Services business, powered by Diane Reyes, Elyse Weiner, Julie Monaco, and Claudia Slacik. Its total assets as of the second quarter were $79 billion, up one percent over the same period a year earlier (to improve capital ratios, Citi intentionally reduced assets in the group); net-interest revenue was $1.2 billion, up 30 percent; non-interest revenue was $1.2 billion, up 29 percent; net income jumped 36 percent, from $516 million to $701 million; the efficiency ratio was down seven percent, to 57 percent, and the group's profit margin rose 10 percent over the second quarter.

If GTS is the best kept secret, then Global Wealth Management is the biggest weapon in Pandit's arsenal. The business, led by chief executive Sallie Krawcheck, is a compelling one, and the numbers-even in bad times-tell the story: total client assets are $1.7 trillion; return on risk capital is 39 percent; return on invested capital is 15 percent; net-interest revenue is $2.3 billion; non-interest revenue is $11.3 billion; net income is $1.7 billion and the unit's profit margin was 13 percent, as of the second quarter.

Recruited from Lloyds to head Citi's consumer banking business, Terri Dial is charged with sorting out the solid performances from the dead wood domestically and devising global strategy. One key member of her team to lend an assist: Mary McDowell. Her stewardship of CitiFinancial, which comprised 10 percent of Citi's GCG revenue in 2007, is vital. In 2006, her group achieved a record $1 billion-plus in earnings, and, despite mounting pressures in the business in 2007, she managed to increase revenues by nine percent to $5.5 billion and loans outstanding grew by 18 percent to $42.5 billion. And while market uncertainty and worsening economic conditions prevail in 2008, her group's efficiency ratio is holding relatively steady at 35.3 percent, up slightly from 2007's 34.1 percent. The good news: Revenue growth for the first quarter of 2008 was up 14.6 percent over the same period a year earlier.

On the international front, Maura Markus has seen her consumer banking group's loans increase in the second quarter by $15 billion, or 16 percent, to $110 billion; deposits grew $20 billion, or 12 percent, to $189 billion; assets under management have grown by $5 billion, or five percent, to $121 billion versus the prior year; and total customer accounts increased by four million, up nine percent to 52 million. For the first half, revenues rose eight percent to $7.6 billion. Still, the business felt the impact of the economy and market conditions, forcing net income to drop 34 percent, to $722 million during the same period.

With the performances of these women, and a highly diversified business, Citi should pull out of its tailspin faster than its peers. Or so some analysts' thinking goes.

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