Miami’s Bci Securities has hired a former Citi boss to lead the brokerage as it kicks off a growth push in the US.
Andrew Q. Barrett joined the company as its new chief executive on March 1.
Bci Securities, the international brokerage unit of Chilean bank Bci that primarily caters to Latin American clients investing offshore, is now strengthening its ties to the US domestic market.
In an interview with Citywire Americas, Barrett said he aims to position the brokerage as an investment hub for Bci’s subsidiary City National Bank of Florida.
‘There’s an initiative at City National to grow and to build out the wealth platform and, among other services and other things, we can come in from a Bci Securities side and be one of their solutions providers,’ Barrett said.
‘If you go into City National branch now you and ask to buy a mutual fund, it’s not technically something that they’re going to be able to offer. As they move more toward a full-service offering we aspire to be part of the offering,’ he added.
Barrett came on board as Bci works to close its $528 million acquisition of Miami’s TotalBank, which was announced November 30, 2017, and should close before the end of the second quarter.
He notes that he’d like to offer Bci’s services to that institution as well, but the exact relationship between the two subsidiaries won’t be clear until the deal is final.
Overall, Barrett is looking to target clients in the $1 million to $5 million wealth spectrum, saying that he thinks online brokers are meeting the needs of clients below the lower end of that range and private banks are servicing clients with assets that surpass the upper limit.
At the moment, Bci Securities’ clients are roughly in the $1 million to $3 million area.
‘If you have $1 million or you have up to $5 million you’re not really getting the types of service that you’d like from either the online or you’re not really an important client for a private bank at that level. That’s where we think we can really add some value,’ Barrett said.
As part of his wider plan, Barrett is planning to add advisors to his team who can meet both banking and investment needs. Bci Securities currently employs two advisors who meet directly with clients and three investment associates focused on research and products.
Past and present
Barrett replaces Ruben Dinamarca, who had been serving as interim CEO since August after the exit of the former top boss. Dinamarca has become the firm's chief operating officer.
Barrett worked in the Citigroup for more than 20 years. In his last role with the firm, he was regional head of Citi Wealth Advisors in Hong Kong, leading Citibank’s US retail brokerage platforms in Asia Pacific and the Middle East from 2011 to 2016. Between 2016 and 2018 Barrett temporarily left the industry to help run a family winery.
Other roles include head of equities at Citi Private Bank and investment strategy chief for Global Wealth Management, both in Hong Kong. He started his career in 1994 as a research analyst at Smith Barney, which was sold to Citigroup and later Morgan Stanley.