Citi announced today that its Global Transaction Services business has been awarded a new mandate from Erste Group Bank AG. The Vienna-based banking group which serves more than 17 million clients in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), has now joined the CitiConnect for Securities platform. Erste will be added as a third party broker, and will be able to accept electronic orders for Central and Eastern European markets including, Austria, Poland, Hungary, The Czech Republic , Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, The Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Turkey and Russia.
CitiConnect for Securities is an open architecture, standardized global platform providing full trade life-cycle services for equities, collective investment schemes and investment funds, including hedge funds. The equity trading capability provides Citi's clients access to a network of 3rd party brokers, including its own broker Citi Global Markets. This venture will allow Citi clients the ability to route orders through CitiConnect for Securities to Erste, providing execution access to these 15 Central and Eastern European markets.
This is the second instance in a year that Citi and Erste have joined forces. In September 2008, Erste selected Citi (R) Execution to Custody, to provide a single integrated electronic execution and custody solution. Citi (R) Execution to Custody combines electronic execution and smart order routing to reach pockets of liquidity and achieve best execution in all of the major markets around the globe. It also utilizes GTS's award winning proprietary custody branch network to reduce settlement costs, automate the settlement process, and provide asset servicing post trade.
Citi launched Citi (R) Execution to Custody in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in June 2008, targeting market intermediaries to address client demand for post-MIFID solutions. Through the linking of Citi's capital markets and securities capabilities, Citi provides clients a premium service, removing the operational inefficiencies and risks that come from dealing with multiple providers. Kurt Gerhold, Head of Equity Retail Sales, Erste Group Bank said, "For the past year we have enjoyed a valuable association with Citi as our provider of a single integrated electronic execution and custody solution. This new opportunity will enable us to provide extended market execution coverage for equities to Citi's clients".
Andrew Gelb, Head of Securities and Fund Services for Europe, the Middle East & Africa, Citi said, "We are delighted by this further alliance we we with Erste Group Bank, and their broad footprint in Central and Eastern Europe. CitiConnect for Securities provides an exceptional operational offering by combining execution in equities and collective investment schemes with our custody services through an order driven trade to settlement service".