San Francisco-based NerdWallet has elected Simon Williams to its board of directors after he ponied up a $5 million investment from his Camelot Financial Capital Management. The funding brings the company’s Series A funding to $69 million.
San Francisco-based NerdWallet is hitting the big time with $64 million in Series A funding round led by Institutional Venture Partners (IVP) with participation from RRE Ventures, iGlobe Partners and additional angel investors.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Citi announced a global partnership to broaden financial inclusion by fostering the rapid adoption of “mobile money” technology in developing countries. The announcement was made at USAID’s Frontiers in Development Forum at Georgetown University. Of the five billion mobile phone users worldwide, nearly two billion lack access to banking services, instead relying on cash transactions that expose them to potential theft, fraud or loss, and high-cost lending and remittance providers that leave them vulnerable to endless debt and high fees. USAID and Citi will work with governments, donors, industry and other participants in the payments system. USAID expects to continue to support local mobile money platforms with over $23 million, and Citi will integrate its core banking services with mobile money platforms to provide seamless integration between banking and last-mile, mobile-based payments services.
Chase Card Services partnered Fairmont Hotels & Resorts to launch the Fairmont Visa Signature Card. Giving cardmembers access to exclusive amenities and rewards, Cardmembers will be eligible to receive two complimentary night stays complete with two breakfast dining certificates at any Fairmont property worldwide, after making $1000 in purchases within the first three months of obtaining the Card. They will also earn Fairmont Rewards with all of their purchases, which they can redeem for Fairmont stays worldwide while enjoying no foreign transaction fees on international purchases. The Card also automatically upgrades cardmembers to Fairmont President’s Club Premier status upon Card approval. Also, the annual fee is waived the first year for applications received by July 31, 2012.
Citi announced that Michael E. O’Neill was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of Citi following its annual meeting of stockholders. O’Neill is the retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Bank of Hawaii and was previously Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer at Bank of America from 1995-1999. Mr. O’Neill earned an MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia and a B.A. in European Civilization from Princeton University.
Citi’s Board of Directors has nominated Franz B. Humer and Joan E. Spero as new independent director candidates to stand for election at Citi’s annual meeting of stockholders on April 17, 2012. Dr. Humer is Chairman of Roche Holding Ltd, and Ms. Spero is a Senior Research Scholar at Columbia University School of International Public Affairs. Humer served as Chief Executive Officer of the Roche Group from 1998 until 2008. He previously served as Chief Operating Officer and Head of Pharmaceuticals for F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. Dr. Humer is Chairman of Diageo plc. Dr. Humer is the chairman of Friends of Phelophepa Foundation, the chairman of INSEAD and chairman of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. Spero is a Senior Research Scholar at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. From 1997 to 2008, she was the President of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Prior to that, she was the Under Secretary of State for Economics, Business and Agricultural Affairs during the Clinton Administration and had previously served in the Carter Administration as Ambassador to the United Nations for Economic and Social Affairs.
Citi passed its $7 billion lending commitment to U.S. small business by over $900 million in 2011, more than 30% higher than the $6 billion total in 2010. This is up from the $4.5 billion total in 2009. Specifically, Citi pledged $24 billion in lending over the course of three years – $7 billion in 2011, $8 billion in 2012 and $9 billion in 2013. Citi is dedicated to providing access to capital for those organizations supporting qualified, mission-based Community Development Financial Institutions, Community Development Corporations, micro-lenders and other non-profits that then on-lend to small business owners, via Citibank Community Capital and the Communities at Work program.
EMV chip-with-signature technology is now available on the British Airways Visa Card from Chase. Now the British Airways Visa Card has EMV chip-with-signature technology that features a microchip as well as a traditional magnetic strip to accommodate merchants in the United States. The British Airways Visa Card does not charge foreign transaction fees, delivering up to three percent savings on international purchases, allowing cardmembers to earn 2.5 Avios (British Airways Executive Club currency) for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases. The announcement also marks the third credit card in the Chase portfolio and the first airline co-brand card to offer EMV chip-with-signature technology.
Chase Card Services launched the promotion allowing cardmembers who use their British Airways Visa card at any NYC MICHELIN Guide 2011 star-rated restaurant will receive a $50 statement credit. Cardmembers who use their British Airways Visa card at a second NYC MICHELIN Guide 2011 star-rated restaurant will receive an additional $50 statement credit. Cardmembers will also have access to a private dining consultant and may receive complimentary VIP treatment at select restaurant locations. MICHELIN Guide, the most renowned restaurant selection in the world, is participating in this exclusive program to offer British Airways Visa cardmembers the best-rated dining in New York City.
Citigroup launched its “Financial Insights Project,” whereby over the next five years, the Citi Foundation will provide up to $25 million to leading universities conducting research on issues affecting the financial services in innovation, technology, globalization and consumer behavior. For 2011, the Citi Foundation will award individual contributions to the graduate schools at Columbia University, Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford and Yale. Globalization: Innovation, Risk and Regulation in a Global World: Top faculty and graduate fellows from Columbia University’s schools of business, law, and other divisions will examine the interplay of global and local product innovation; U.S. Competitiveness: Sustaining the American Advantage: Harvard Business School’s faculty will study various facets of U.S. competitiveness; Impact of Technology on Retail Banking and Consumer Finance: MIT’s Sloan School of Management will research the impact of technology on the future of retail banking and applications of data-mining techniques; Financial Services Innovation and the Impact of Social Media on Financial Services: The Stanford Graduate School of Business will conduct research on financial services innovation; and Dynamics of Consumer and Financial Behaviors in China and India: Yale School of Management faculty will pursue market expansion effects of mobile banking and investigate the dynamics of how financial markets impact society.
More than 300 leaders from the financial services and business community gathered to honor Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citigroup, at UJA-Federation of New York’s Wall Street and Financial Services Division’s Banking and Finance Reception on May 4, 2011, at Gotham Hall in New York City. The event, honoring Pandit for his professional and philanthropic leadership, raised $900,000. Since December 2007, Vikram Pandit has been CEO of Citi, one of the world’s leading financial services companies, which does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions and has approximately 200 million customer accounts.
Citigroup posted a 1Q/11 net income of $3.0 billion from $1.3 billion in 4Q/10 while revenue totaled $19.7 billion, up 7% from 4Q/10 but down 22% from 1Q/10 revenues of $16.5 billion. This was thanks in part to continued credit improvement as Citigroup net credit losses declined for the seventh consecutive quarter to $6.3 billion. With this, March, gross yield reached 26.73%, the highest point since April 2010, as the 12-month average gross yield was 25.43% compared to the 12-month average of 25.04% at the March 2010 reporting period. Meanwhile, the Monthly payment rate (MPR) posted a 12-month average of 12.80%, up slightly from 12.06% at the March 2010 reporting period, indicating consumers are paying off their credit card debts slightly more quickly. Moreover, net chargeoffs declined to a 12-month average of 12.27%, down from 13.22% at the March 2010 reporting period, according to Fitch ratings, as the 12-month average 60+ day delinquencies were 5.40% compared to the year ago average of 6.15%.