Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Inc. said it plans to buy a correspondent securities business from Citigroup.

Citicorp Securities Services would be combined with Pershing Trading Corp., DLJ's securities clearing arm. Financial terms of the agreement, which was announced late Thursday and is expected to close by May, were not disclosed.

CSS clears securities transactions for roughly two dozen domestic independent broker-dealers, said Richard F. Brueckner, Pershing's chief administrative officer. The unit clears several thousand trades a day, compared with up to 200,000 transactions that Pershing handles for its 550 customers on an average day, Mr. Brueckner said.

"It's not a strategic acquisition; it's an expansion of our core business," he said. Pershing, which handles 10% to 12% of the New York Stock Exchange's daily trading volume, has a broad customer base that includes independent brokerages, bank-owned broker-dealers, and independent advisers, Mr. Brueckner said.

Citigroup, which has been examining a number of its businesses, decided the unit does not fit into its strategic business plan, a company spokesman said. The financial services giant was formed by the October merger of Citicorp and Travelers Group.

However, Citigroup will retain Worldwide Securities Services, its largely international correspondent clearing operation for institutions, the spokesman said.

CSS, formerly known as Newbridge Securities, was founded by the former Citicorp in 1984. The unit is located on Wall Street and employs 80 people.

"We have the capacity to keep on all of those people," Mr. Breuckner said. He did not directly answer whether anyone would be let go, saying Pershing will review employees' credentials and decide case by case how they might fit in.

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