Company: Citigroup, Inc.
Founders: Sandy Weill
Industry: Financial Services
In the world of financial services, Citigroup remains one of the most easily recognized names in the world due to its long-standing history and its size. Forbes’ Global 2000 listed Citigroup as the largest company in the world in 2007, a fact that attests to Citigroup’s success in the field.
The company was formed in 1998 after the merger of Citicorp and Travelers Group. Citicorp was founded on June 16, 1812, and was initially named as the City Bank of New York. Starting with a capital of $2 million, it primarily catered to merchants and retailers in New York. Travelers Group, on the other hand, was a diversified financial services company that had insurance and credit services under its portfolio at the time of the merger.
The merger between the two companies was formalized on April 6, 1998. To mark this endeavor, the companies also merged Citicorp’s blue logo with the recognizable red umbrella of the Travelers Group. The merger resulted in a single company having assets of around $700 billion.
The deal was mutually beneficial as Travelers’ mutual funds and insurance products can now be marketed to Citicorp’s client base while allowing the banking segments of the group to expose itself to more markets and new investors.
The formation of Citigroup led to several milestones not just for the company but for the entire financial services industry as well. In 1999, the Citibank division introduced CitiDirect Online Banking, allowing customers to access different products from various locations via the Internet.
Citigroup, which has 358,000 people under its employ and a clientele that is 200 million accounts strong, is currently the largest bank worldwide by revenue.