Citigroup said Wednesday that a longtime Citibanker has been named to head its Travelers Life and Annuity unit.
J. Eric Daniels, a 23-year veteran of Citicorp, has been named president and chief executive officer of the Hartford-based life insurer. He was formerly chief operating officer for the consumer bank at Citibank.
Travelers Group Inc. and Citicorp merged in October to create the $700 billion-asset Citigroup.
Mr. Daniels, 47, replaces Michael A. Carpenter, who was promoted in November to co-CEO of Citigroup's corporate and investment bank and chairman and CEO of Salomon Smith Barney. Mr. Carpenter's promotion followed the departure of Citigroup president James Dimon.
The announcement Wednesday was not unexpected. Mr. Carpenter was previously named to head Travelers Life, and Mr. Daniels was to report to him. Mr. Daniels now will report to William I. Campbell and Robert I. Lipp, who are co-chief executives of global consumer planning.
Mr. Daniels' experience at Citicorp was primarily on the consumer side.
He has served as president of Citibank's consumer operations in California; division executive for European consumer banking in Brussels; head of Argentinean consumer operations in Buenos Aires; and division executive of private bank operations for Europe, Africa and the Middle East in London. He also headed a task force formed to improve Citibank's profitability.
Though Mr. Daniels is not an insurance executive, observers said he seems to fit the bill as a marketing expert who would fit well with Citigroup's plans to cross-sell insurance and banking products.
"The consumer franchise is what is going to drive this organization going forward," said Walter Fitzgerald, an analyst with Brean Murray and Co.
"There's going to be an enormous amount of cross-sell between these two organizations. Many of the depositors of Citibank around the world are potential buyers of life insurance or annuities."
"I don't think we made a conscious decision that we wanted a Citi body in the Travelers organization," said Marlene Ibsen, a spokeswoman for the insurer. "We just the want the best man in the job."
The company also announced that Jay S. Benet, 46, senior vice president for group annuities and structured settlements, will receive the added title of chief financial officer.
Mr. Benet replaces Ian R. Stuart, who has become chief financial officer of Citibank private bank in New York.