The head of Citicorp's retail brokerage subsidiary is being replaced after just 14 months on the job.
Arnold E. Amstutz, chairman of Citicorp Investment Services, will move to a new post in Citi's private banking department next month, a spokeswoman for the New York banking company confirmed.
He will be succeeded next month by Steven J. Freiberg, a Florida-based senior vice president who has been overseeing Citicorp's retail sales in the Southeast.
The changes, announced internally last week, follow a major realignment of Citicorp's investment products business in January.
At that time, David J. Browning was put in charge of a high-level management group overseeing investment products and distribution. Simultaneously, he was named executive vice president of Citicorp Global Asset Management, the bank's money management arm.
The appointment of Mr. Browning, a 20-year veteran of Citicorp, to head the management group was seen as a sign that Citi was about to intensify its focus on mutual fund and securities sales.
Though Citi's sales of investment products topped $1 billion last year - one of the best results of any bank - the company is said to have fallen short of the high goals it had set for itself.
"They want to compete, and if they want to be in a business, they'll make sure they do it right," said A. Stewart Rose, a Boston-based financial services consultant.
Citicorp officials said Mr. Browning is undertaking a complete review of the bank's investment products units, but they refused to link Mr. Amstutz's departure to this process. Rather, a Citicorp spokeswoman said, the changes are simply a reallocation of resources.
Mr. Amstutz came to Citicorp from a stint as a consultant with Chemical Banking Corp.'s private bank, where he reengineered the company's strategies for reaching "ultra-affluent" clients. A former business professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mr. Amstutz is touted as a technology expert.
That background appears to mesh neatly with his new assignment. The spokeswoman said Hubertus Rukavina, head of global private banking, recruited Mr. Amstutz to develop a "global wealth management system" using technology to profile clients in 31 countries where Citi has a presence.
But industry observers speculated that there was more to Mr. Amstutz's move. These sources, who declined to be quoted by name, said Mr. Amstutz was seen as too academic and as an outsider in a bank where knowing the players is essential. As a result, they said, Mr. Amstutz ran into difficulties dealing with internal competitors for customers' assets, such as the trust and private banking units.
"The job was a hell of a lot harder than he thought," said one former Citicorp brokerage executive. Mr. Amstutz could not be reached for comment.
Mr. Freiberg, the new brokerage chief, is decidedly more of an insider, having spent the past decade at Citicorp.
A spokeswoman said Mr. Freiberg helped start Citicorp's broker-dealer, known as Citicorp Select Investments until it was renamed Citicorp Investment Services in 1989. Mr. Freiberg was traveling and could not be reached for comment.
The scope of Mr. Freiberg's role as brokerage chief is still up in the air. Mr. Browning is currently "looking at all the units we have" to see whether Mr. Freiberg will be performing the "exact duties" of Mr. Amstutz, the Citicorp spokeswoman said.