Leaked Memo: The head of Citi’s fastest-growing wealth business is leaving. Read Andy Sieg’s announcement.

News Room

Citi’s ailing wealth business has one bright spot: a division devoted to serving rich law-firm partners and other wealthy executives. Led by the Citi veteran Mehrnaz “Naz” Vahid, the unit is seen as the 800-pound gorilla in its niche, working with more than 50,000 lawyers.

Now, Vahid is leaving the bank after 38 years, according to a memo reviewed by Business Insider. She’s one of at least 20 senior wealth executives to depart since Andy Sieg took over Citi’s wealth business in September after leaving Merrill Lynch.

Sieg told employees in an email late Monday afternoon that Vahid had informed him she was leaving. He wrote that she planned to stay for an indefinite “transition” period and, after leaving Citi, would “spend her full energy on philanthropic pursuits” and spend time with family.

Just one week ago, Vahid was publicizing a recent interview with the publication Euromoney on her LinkedIn profile. Citi declined to comment beyond the memo.

Vahid’s unit, Wealth at Work, is the smallest but fastest-growing part of Citi’s wealth division. Since she took the reins in 2009, revenue more than tripled to $862 million in 2023. Last year’s haul represented an 18% jump, while revenue for Citi’s private bank declined by nearly the same percentage, and Citigold, its mass-affluent offering, reported nearly flat revenue. This past quarter, the unit’s revenue declined 6% year over year to $181 million, which was mostly attributed to a drop in net interest income.

The key to her success with rich lawyers: get them while they’re young.

“It’s much easier to acquire a client and have their loyalty when they’re younger than to try to get them when they’re an ultramillionaire,” Vahid told BI in April 2022.

Vahid was promoted in 2021 to apply this model to other industries including hedge funds and healthcare. In Sieg’s memo, he referred to Wealth at Work as a “cornerstone” of the division.

See the full memo from Andy Sieg below:

Dear Colleagues,

After nearly four decades of service — spanning a variety of roles at Citi — Naz Vahid, Head of Wealth at Work, has informed me of her decision to leave the firm.

Since joining Citi in 1985, Naz has done nearly every job the Wealth business has to offer, from credit underwriter to service officer to banker. In 2009, Naz was named Head of the Law Firm Group, where she drove significant growth, built powerful client relationships and helped firmly secure our undisputed market leadership position. Naz then spearheaded the expansion of this successful model with the creation of Wealth at Work, a cornerstone of our Wealth business.

Naz has built a strong bench of leaders, supported by best-in-class talent across the business. I am confident this team will continue to thrive as we support our clients.

We are happy that Naz will remain with us for a transition period. We will conduct a thorough internal and external search for her replacement.

Please join me in thanking Naz as she embarks on a new chapter, allowing her to spend her full energy on her philanthropic pursuits and to enjoy some well-deserved time with her family.


Do you work for Citi? Have a tip or story to share? Reach out to Hayley Cuccinello at [email protected] or 917 740 5340, which works for calls, text, and the encrypted messaging app Signal.

Read the full article here

Share this Article
Leave a comment