Citigroup unveiled its asset management division Thursday and set aggressive goals for its growth.
Built from the money management capabilities of Citicorp and Travelers Group, SSBC Asset Management Group has $292.3 billion of institutional and retail assets under management. It encompasses a broad swath of products, including mutual funds, managed accounts for high-net-worth clients, institutional accounts, and annuities.
In a statement, Citigroup executives said they plan to turn the unit into "one of the top five asset management organizations in the world within five years." According to Citigroup, SSBC currently ranks around 10th place.
Analysts said Citigroup has a decent shot at reaching its goal. Formed by the merger last week of Travelers and Citicorp, $747 billion-asset Citigroup has 10,600 brokers in the United States alone.
"They certainly have a network out there," said George Bicher, an equity analyst with BT Alex. Brown, New York.
Mr. Bicher said in addition to Citigroup's sales force, SSBC would be able to distribute its products here and abroad through Citibank's 1,125 retail offices and its 500 private bankers. "They even use third-party distributors," he said.
A Citigroup spokeswoman said most of that growth would be "organic" but did not rule out strategic acquisitions.
Thomas W. Jones, a former Travelers vice chairman and head of Smith Barney Asset Management, has been named co-chairman and chief executive officer of the new unit.
Peter Carman, the former head of Citicorp's sprawling asset management unit, has been named co-chairman and global chief investment officer.
SSBC will corral the three primary money management units - Salomon Brothers Asset Management, Smith Barney Asset Management and Citibank Global Asset Management - into one unit.
Mr. Carman and Mr. Jones will split responsibility for Smith Barney's retail investment platform, while Mr. Carman will oversee the institutional businesses of Salomon Smith Barney Institutional Asset Management and Citibank Global Asset Management, the spokeswoman said.
Mr. Bicher said the leadership choices reflect the backgrounds of both Mr. Jones and Mr. Carman.
"Peter Carman on the investment side makes sense," he said.
Before joining Citicorp, Mr. Carman had headed equity investments for Putnam Investments, Boston. Mr. Jones joined Travelers in August 1997 from the pension fund market, where he was president and chief operating officer of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund.
To gather more assets, SSBC "will leverage the powerful institutional and retail distribution channels of Citigroup," Mr. Jones said.
"There are a lot of long-term opportunities in terms of selling the Travelers products to Citi customers and vice versa," said Richard K. Strauss, an analyst at Goldman, Sachs & Co., New York.
But analysts said the company may also make some acquisitions.
"Travelers has shown a willingness to acquire in the past, which Citicorp did not," said Diane B. Glossman, an analyst with Lehman Brothers, New York. "Acquisitions are more likely to happen under the merged entity."
Before the Citi-Travelers merger, Salomon Smith Barney bought J.P. Morgan & Co.'s Australian asset management unit for around $73 million.