Following a major initiative and internal reshuffling, Citibank is aggressively marketing its drive into the global agency and trust businesses within the asset-backed market.

"It's a natural extension of a lot of things the company does as issuer," said group Managing Director Jeffrey Volk. "We're significantly expanding our presence in the securitization market."

Citi's building its platform on its international presence.

For example, Citi is involved with the Eurotunnel refinancing, acting as a facilitator for the corporate debt exchange, where Citi exchanges seasoned corporate loans for a different types of securities.

The bank then places the loans into a special purpose vehicle, which, over time, will amass a pool of assets large enough for the Eurotunnel term securitization.

"[Corporate debt exchange] is basically a capability that's basically an outgrowth of what we've done with country debt exchange, which is a market we dominate with countries like Argentina, Brazil, etc., as processor of these types of exchanges," Volk said. "It's that type of activity where a company like Citibank can excel."

Volk added that, "There's no one who can compete with our global capability."

Under his direction, the firm has beefed up its asset-backed staff over the last nine months. Mark Hartzell, who came over from U.S. Bank last year, will oversee the domestic effort.

Reporting to Hartzell, the firm has added Stuart Linducci, Don Earle, Michael London, Jennifer Cupo, and Veda Haight, all formerly of Chase Securities.

Volk has been with Citibank for more than 20 years, and has experiencing in the securitization dating back to the industry's beginning, he said. Prior to taking on the agency and trust initiative in November of 1999, Volk spent four years overseeing with Citi International, Citibank's international investments business for Latin America, Asia, Europe and Japan.

Citi expects to shoot to the top of the U.S. and international ABS trustee league tables in the near term. Citi's current corporate and trust business represents approximately $2.5 trillion worth of outstanding debt and equity on behalf of 3,500 corporate clients.

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