Wriston, Walter Bigelow
In 1968 he initiated a business reorganization that resulted in a structure of five separate companies under the umbrella of a holding company (renamed Citicorp in 1974; now Citigroup). Exploiting this arrangement, the company was able to offer various services not ordinarily permitted to banks, e.g., insurance, stock brokerage, leasing, real estate services, and much more. In 1970 Wriston became chairman of the bank, which six years later was rechristened Citibank. Among the many innovations he introduced were the automated teller machine (ATM), negotiable certificates of deposit, and interstate banking. He also led Citicorp to the domination of the credit card business and was key in transforming modern banks into large one-stop all-service businesses. During his stewardship Citicorp grew enormously in assets, loans, and net income. Wriston retired in 1984. He was the author of Risk and Other Four-Letter Words (1986) and In the Twilight of Sovereignty (1992).
See P. L. Zweig, Wriston: Walter Wriston, Citibank and the Rise and Fall of American Financial Supremacy (1995).
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