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Citi (C) Aims Expansion of Australian Wealth Management Arm

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In an effort to strengthen its share of high-net worth individuals in Australia, Citigroup Inc. (C - Free Report) intends to hire around 100 wealth advisers over the next three years, according to a Bloomberg report. The company, which has presence in more than 100 countries, targets to triple the number of wealthy customers in Australia.

What are Citigroup's Aims for Australia?

According to Citigroup's Asia-Pacific retail banking head, Gonzalo Luchetti, Australia holds the third position in Asia Pacific for having a pool of high-net worth individuals. Notably, more than 230,000 people have A$1 million ($797,000) or more for investments.

Therefore, this New York-based bank aims to cater such individuals for overseas investments through its global presence. Citigroup’s Australian wealth management unit recorded 14% growth in assets under management in 2016.

What Led to the Latest Move?

The boom in Australia’s $2.8-trillion funds industry, with retirement saving and personal investments, lured Citigroup to expand substantially in the nation. Moreover, Australia carries the fourth position in the pension pool, with A$2.3 trillion in assets.

In addition, with assets worth $218 billion in the Asia-Pacific region, for more than 400,000 clients, Citigroup expects “mid-teen growth” of its high-net worth clients.

Our Viewpoint

We believe that the latest move by Citigroup will pave way for revenue growth from its international exposure, at a time when the company is facing challenges owing to political uncertainty and legal issues. Also, we remain encouraged as a number of restructuring initiatives by the company are underway to strengthen its top line.

Currently, Citigroup carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Additionally, the company’s shares have gained 45.02% in a year’s time compared with 28.7% growth recorded by the industry it belongs to.



Key Picks

Better-ranked stocks in the same space are FB Financial Corporation (FBK - Free Report) , LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (LPLA - Free Report) and Salisbury Bancorp, Inc. (SAL - Free Report) . All the stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

FB Financial’s earnings estimates have been revised 3.2% upward for 2017, in the past 60 days. Also, its share price has surged 69.6% in a year’s time.

LPL Financial’s earnings estimates for 2017 have been revised 4.1% upward, over the last 60 days. Further, in a year’s time, the company’s shares have jumped 61.2%.

Salisbury Bancorp witnessed a 2.4% upward earnings estimates revision for the current year, over the last 60 days. Moreover, in the past year, its shares have gained 38.9%.

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