Citi Switching Remaining Brokers to Fees

Bank will also build alliances with independent RIAs

It hasn't taken long for Debbie McWhinney to make her mark at Citigroup. On October 5, Citi Personal Wealth Management announced that the brokers who operate in Citibank branches will change their compensation models immediately from commissions to fees, embracing a fiduciary standard.

McWhinney, the former chief of Schwab Institutional who became head of Citi Personal Banking and Wealth Management in April 2009, said in a statement that the bank would also work with independent RIAs to "complement its in-house expertise and broaden its geographic coverage," and that Citi was in "advanced discussions with some of the nation's top independent RIA businesses and expects to announce agreements in select markets in the near future."

The new approach will include "an open platform designed to support the fee-based business," according to the announcement, and McWhinney said Citi expects its platform will be an "appealing alternative" for brokers at other firms who are considering independence.

McWhinney resigned from Schwab in 2007 after being passed over as Charles Schwab's successor as CEO; before her tenure at Schwab, McWhinney was an executive VP at Visa International and had also spent 17 years at Bank of America.

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