In a move that is being closely watched on Wall Street, Smith Barney has launched Citigroup Institutional Consulting, a new business unit comprised of the firm’s top investment consulting teams.
With an ambitious growth plan of double-digit gains over each of the next five years, no one will be in the spotlight more than Paul A. Carter, the unit’s director.
Just 33, Carter himself has no institutional consulting experience, although he worked with the strategy team that served as the springboard for CIC. Carter’s boss, Paul Hatch, director of Smith Barney Investment Advisory Services, says he interviewed more than 30 candidates over a year-long period before honing in on Carter, after the CIC consultants themselves asked that he be considered.
“I don’t want to say they elected him, but they certainly pressed hard,” says Hatch. “This is a young man who has great promise for our organization. This is a very important initiative for us.”
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Carter, known for his keen strategic thinking, says he’s thrilled at the opportunity to translate a business plan into action.
“CIC was formed after an extensive business-planning process. In a nutshell, we created CIC on the conviction that if we made the right investment, we could significantly grow our presence in the institutional marketplace,” says Carter, who joined Citigroup International in a strategic planning role in 2004. “Delivering on the plan, working with some of the most sophisticated and experienced consultants in the industry, executing ideas driven by this group — it’s all enormously rewarding.”
Carter, who grew up in Melbourne, Australia, studied economics and finance at the University of Melbourne and spent most of his career in his home country with Boston Consulting Group. His work with the group — involving classic growth strategies, cost-reduction programs, acquisitions and productivity enhancement across a range of industries — instilled in him a disciplined approach to problem-solving.
He came to the U.S. initially to attend Harvard Business School, then returned to Boston Consulting Group in New York in 2002 as a project leader focused on strategy programs for a global financial-services company.
His appointment in January as CIC’s director marks Carter’s first opportunity to run an operating unit.