As former Citicorp lenders and Salomon Smith Barney Inc. try to form a cohesive corporate bank, Citi's syndicated lenders are planning to move in with their Salomon cohorts.
About 125 Citi loan originators and traders are expected to relocate from the company's midtown Manhattan headquarters to Salomon's offices downtown in mid-1999, according to William L. Hartmann, a managing director of loan syndications for Citigroup, the post-merger parent of both operations.
"You hear a lot of buzz that people aren't getting along at the top," said Mr. Hartmann, a Citicorp veteran. "But down in the trenches, business is coming together well. We've teamed up on a number of deals."
Mary Regan, a spokeswoman for Citigroup, confirmed plans for the move but described them as "tentative" and subject to space availability.
"Things change and could again," she said.
The consolidation of Salomon's and the former Citicorp's syndicated lending operations has been a sticking point for some bankers at the newly formed Citigroup.
Shortly after the deal to merge Citicorp and Travelers Group was announced in April, plans were made to combine the lending units organizationally and physically. But sources close to Salomon said that the integration was second-guessed by Citicorp lenders reluctant to be placed under the authority of an investment bank.
Salomon and Citicorp had pursued radically different strategies in the syndicated loan market. Citicorp focused on investment-grade, volume-based lending to blue chip companies, but Salomon pursued highly profitable loans to credit-stressed companies.
Through Nov. 23, the two operations combined placed fourth among all banks in structuring and pricing syndicated loans, with 217 deals worth $172 billion, according to Securities Data Co. Citigroup had a market share of 9.3% on a pro rata basis.