Citigroup CFO Sees ‘Pretty Good Start’ to Year for Markets Unit

Citigroup Inc. Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach said the lender’s securities unit did well in January and that activity in trading and banking businesses looks similar to how last year began.

“January was a pretty good month and so the year got off to a pretty good start,” Gerspach said today at an investor conference in Miami hosted by Credit Suisse Group AG. “I wouldn’t rate the year as 2009. January 2009 is still in the record books.”

Citigroup is expanding in areas where it’s smaller than competitors, including in prime brokerage, equity derivatives and investment banking, Gerspach said. In banking, the company made investments in 2010 and 2011 and “built up momentum” last year, he said.

“There is still some work we need to do” in equity derivatives, Gerspach said. His New York-based firm ranks third by assets among U.S. lenders.

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