When Stephen A. Cone joined Citigroup Inc. last February, he and his colleagues in the investment management group faced a sticky challenge: to find a way to capitalize on four different fund families with varying reputations in the market and no clear leader among them.

The 1998 merger of Citicorp and Travelers Group had brought the disparate fund groups — the relatively small CitiFunds family and Travelers’ Salomon Brothers portfolios, Primerica Financial Services’ Concert funds, and the Smith Barney Funds — under one roof.

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