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Public Meeting Transcripts

Public Meeting Regarding Citicorp and Travelers Group

Thursday, June 25, 1998

Transcript of Panel Fifteen

 
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  10               MR. LONEY:  Do we have any questions

  11     of this group?  If not, I will thank you all

  12     very much for coming.

  13               We are going to do a little more

  14     agenda shifting.

  15               James Wyche and Lydia Tom from Panel

  16     Fourteen have arrived, and, also, Douglas

  17     Warens from the Sixteenth Panel is here, too,

  18     and we have room.  So if you would like to come

  19     up now, that would be good.

  20               (Continued on next page)

  21

  22

  23

  24

  25



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   2               MR. LONEY:  Mr. Wyche, are you ready?

   3               MR. WYCHE:  Sure, I am.  Good

   4     afternoon.  I'm pleased to be present and to be

   5     part of the testimony and support of the merger

   6     for Citibank and Travelers Corp.

   7               I represent an organization called

   8     the Leadership Alliance.  As executive director

   9     I forged this alliance of 25 which are

  10     represented by the eight Ivy League

  11     institutions, the ten historic black colleges

  12     there are three Hispanic serving colleges as

  13     well as the seven tribal colleges in Montana

  14     associated with Montana State University.  This

  15     is an educational alliance that was formed back

  16     in 1992, and I'm pleased to tell you a part of

  17     the story, because Citibank was our first

  18     corporate sponsor.

  19               This organization was formed with the

  20     ideal of trying to reach toward under

  21     representation, specifically with

  22     African-American students, with Hispanic-Latino

  23     students, with Native American students, and to

  24     try to bring them through the process of our

  25     educational system, to get them into the



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   2     terminal degree process, but, more importantly,

   3     to set up a monitorship program, to set up a

   4     networking system by which these students would

   5     then for ever be professionally enmeshed within

   6     our educational system.

   7               The sole purpose as we had started

   8     this endeavor was to change the classroom.  We

   9     had hoped that we would begin to change the

  10     demographics of the faculty situation in our

  11     institutions as well as nationally.

  12               As this organization has matured in

  13     the past seven years, we found it necessary to

  14     really stimulate all segments of our society,

  15     and indeed, as a national institution and

  16     organization we have now grown internationally

  17     where we have programs in 14 different

  18     countries in Asia, East-West Europe, Africa,

  19     Latin and South America.

  20               The important aspect of this program

  21     that I'd like to also stress is our ability to

  22     reach out worldwide, globally through our

  23     network and forge an alliance both for the

  24     students, for the faculty, the administrators

  25     as well as politicians.



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   2               I'm just returning from a trip to

   3     Africa visiting east, south and west African

   4     countries in which we're going to globalize the

   5     experience for over 240 faculty and students

   6     within this organization with support from

   7     organizations like Citibank.

   8               Now, let me tell you a little bit

   9     about what Citibank has meant to us

  10     specifically.  Over the course of the last six

  11     years in which Citibank again was our first

  12     corporate sponsor, it has enabled us to train

  13     over 700 students, 125 of which are now in

  14     terminal degree PhD. programs, all

  15     underrepresented minorities.

  16               These students are ushered through a

  17     system where we not only mentor them, where we

  18     network them, but we expose them to highest

  19     caliber educational environment that we can

  20     afford within our educational system.

  21               Within that system of 125 students

  22     we've provided them the opportunity to also go

  23     to foreign countries, to come back now wanting

  24     and desiring to discover things that many of

  25     them heretofore had not even thought of.



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   2               I'll tell you a story also about our

   3     latest key note speaker in a national symposium

   4     and that is Fredrico Pe¤a, former secretary of

   5     energy and Mr. Pe¤a talked about a student from

   6     New York City of all places -- he obviously was

   7     based in Denver -- and he talked about a

   8     student who did not really know anything about

   9     higher education, a student who would look in

  10     the heavens and gaze and had no idea what he

  11     was looking at.

  12               This student came to him and talked

  13     to him about his vision of what he'd like to

  14     do, and as Mr. Pe¤a described this student.  He

  15     talked about what this student might do for

  16     America and what he might do for himself.  This

  17     student is currently enrolled in a PhD.

  18     program.

  19               It gives you some idea of the power

  20     of the interface with people that this

  21     difference can make for these individuals.  The

  22     second and last of the stories has to do with

  23     someone that I was interfaced with, a very

  24     important story for me because, again, it

  25     brings in the context of New York when I used



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   2     to be here as a professor in the City

   3     University Of New York.

   4               One Saturday I was in my laboratory

   5     and a student was draped across the door of my

   6     office, and I went to see him, and this student

   7     came to me and said:  I've been looking for

   8     you.  I've come from Beliz.  I said:  Well, how

   9     did you know me?  He talked about a program

  10     that I used to head here in New York City,

  11     which now has been expanded as part of the

  12     Leadership Alliance network and he said:  I was

  13     about to go back because I had just enough

  14     money to JFK and take a plane back home.

  15               Well, needless to say, I was

  16     enthralled by the student.  He enrolled, he

  17     finished his degree program, he went on, he got

  18     a PhD. at MIT.  He then went to Bell Labs.  He

  19     is now a professor at Princeton University in

  20     the mathematics department.

  21               These are stories again that are

  22     heart warming, that show that we have the

  23     opportunity to really expand the human talent

  24     pool, but we need corporate America.  We need

  25     the federal sector.  We need individuals to



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   2     participate, and, again, what I want to stress

   3     to you, but the first corporate partner, in

   4     fact, the first funder of this venture was

   5     Citibank.

   6               I can't tell you how important

   7     Citibank continues to be in our lives.  We have

   8     a member, a vice-president from Citibank who

   9     sits on our corporate board.

  10               The important issue I'd like to leave

  11     you with is simply this.  The expectation of

  12     the Leadership Alliance is that with this

  13     merger we are anticipating that Citibank

  14     Travelers will not only continue, but enhance

  15     the outreach of the Alliance, not only within

  16     the United States, but globally.  These are

  17     global organizations and these are global

  18     times.  We need young people who are going to

  19     be competitive and see their world globally.

  20               Finally, I'd like to simply say that

  21     I'm hopeful that through this merger that you

  22     will approve, and that it is your

  23     recommendation that we will go on and do better

  24     things for America.  Thank you.

  25               MR. LONEY:  Thank you Mr. Wyche



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   2     Ms. Tom.

   3               MS. TOM:  Good afternoon.  My name is

   4     Lydia Tom and I am director of housing and

   5     finance for the Enterprise Foundation's New

   6     York office.

   7               I would like to tell you briefly

   8     about Enterprise's involvement with Citibank,

   9     and how the bank has partnered with Enterprise

  10     in working to improve the quality of life in

  11     low income neighborhoods, through the

  12     development of housing and support services,

  13     both nationally and in New York.

  14               Citibank has been an invaluable

  15     partner in helping Enterprise to provide

  16     different financial resources to low-income

  17     communities.  Citibank has assisted us on many

  18     levels; as a funder, tax credit investor and

  19     loan source.

  20               Enterprise and Citibank have been

  21     working together since 1991.  Enterprise was

  22     established by Jim and Patty Rouse in 1982 to

  23     provide the opportunity for low-income

  24     Americans to secure decent affordable housing

  25     and move up and out of poverty.  Since that



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   2     time, Enterprise has helped create over 86,000

   3     affordable apartments nationally, including

   4     8,000 in New York.

   5               Citibank has worked with Enterprise

   6     in many cities around the country, including

   7     New York, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse,

   8     Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia,

   9     Florida, San Antonio, St. Louis, Nevada, and

  10     California.

  11               Since 1991, Citibank and the Citicorp

  12     foundation have provided $987,000 in grants to

  13     Enterprise and $1.75 million in below market

  14     rate loans.  Citibank has provided or committed

  15     to provide $74 million in equity through the

  16     low income housing tax credit.  This $74

  17     million includes $50 million invested in the

  18     New York Equity Fund, as well as nearly $20

  19     million in national funds that have supported

  20     special needs housing in New York.  This

  21     housing serves the formerly homeless, the

  22     elderly, those with a history of mental illness

  23     or substance abuse, and those with AIDS.

  24               These numbers have a real impact on

  25     communities.  The funds have been used to



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   2     extend to low-income families for home

   3     ownership, to develop affordable rental housing

   4     by placing equity from Citibank in tax credit

   5     eligible multifamily housing and to support

   6     special programs through grants, in such areas

   7     as job training and child care that improve the

   8     quality of life for residents.

   9               As an investor in tax credit and a

  10     source of predevelopment loans, Citibank has

  11     facilitated the creation of affordable housing

  12     for those who need it most.  You may have read

  13     a recent New York Times article that noted that

  14     the numbers of housing-needy families in the

  15     United States outnumber affordable apartments

  16     by 4.4 million.

  17               The low-income housing tax credit has

  18     been a valuable tool in filling this gap.

  19     Citibank's total commitment to the credit will

  20     help produce an estimated 1,750 safe, decent

  21     affordable homes nationally.

  22               Citibank is also participating in

  23     Enterprise's City Home Program, an effort with

  24     NYC and the Community Preservation Corporation

  25     to provide home ownership opportunities for low



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   2     and moderate income families.  Citibank will be

   3     providing mortgages for these first time

   4     buyers.  City Home targets smaller, abandoned

   5     city-owned buildings and helps bring stability

   6     to neighborhoods by transforming eye sores into

   7     community assets, and bringing back owners to

   8     deteriorated blocks.

   9               Predevelopment loans are another tool

  10     Citibank has provided for the development of

  11     affordable housing.  In New York, Citibank has

  12     provided $1.5 million in predevelopment funds

  13     over the past two years.  This includes some

  14     monies to upstate regions.  These funds help

  15     nonprofits pay for expenses such as

  16     architectural and legal fees, so that

  17     construction can close.

  18               Support services such as child care,

  19     job training and greening projects build on

  20     housing and uplift the quality of life in

  21     neighborhoods.  Citibank has been sensitive to

  22     these needs.

  23               Citibank was an early funder of a

  24     child care initiative Enterprise established.

  25     Through this project, two facilities have been



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   2     developed that provide quality child care for

   3     over 200 children from low-income families.

   4     Citibank also provided funds for a training

   5     program connected with one of these centers

   6     through which low-income women receive training

   7     in the Montessori Method of early childhood

   8     development while working as a teachers aid and

   9     classroom assistants.  This program, serving

  10     about 20 women, has made it possible for

  11     several participants to get off welfare and

  12     pursue a career in early childhood education.

  13               Citibank has also used its resources

  14     to fund employment initiatives, a major concern

  15     now that welfare reform has impacted

  16     communities.

  17               On a national level, Citibank funds

  18     made it possible for Enterprise to launch the

  19     Volunteer Institute in 1994.  The Volunteer

  20     Institute provides training for AmeriCorps

  21     volunteers solicited by selected nonprofit

  22     groups for community safety programs.  Thanks

  23     to Citibank's generosity, this program has had

  24     outstanding results for people at very low

  25     income levels, some of whom are having their



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   2     first experience in the work world.

   3               Citibank also funded a new job

   4     training effort in New York called the Tree

   5     Keeper Training program which will train

   6     residents in low-income neighborhood in tree

   7     maintenance and landscaping and link them with

   8     jobs with smaller landscaping contractors

   9     looking to create city-based work crews.

  10               On the community level, Citibank has

  11     used its resources to develop creative

  12     partnerships to meet local needs.  Through its

  13     Culture Builds Community program, Citibank

  14     funded a program implemented by Enterprise and

  15     Trees New York in 1995, to plant street trees

  16     along West 159th Street in Washington Heights.

  17     The Community League of West 159th Street was

  18     the local sponsor.

  19               Residents helped plant and have since

  20     cared for and maintained the trees.  Not only

  21     has the program helped bring greenery to the

  22     block, but the care of the trees has served as

  23     an organizing tool for tenant associations.

  24               Finally, the leadership of Citibank

  25     senior executives has been a great asset to



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   2     Enterprise.  Janet Thompson and Emilio

   3     Fernandez serve on Enterprise advisory boards

   4     in New York and Miami, respectively.

   5               In New York, Janet has been

   6     instrumental in examining ways in which

   7     Enterprise and Citibank can contribute to a

   8     more comprehensive approach to community

   9     development.  Other Citibank executives have

  10     been very active in Enterprise New York's

  11     Junior Board, a group of young professionals

  12     who participate in hands-on activities in

  13     neighborhoods, such as planting community

  14     gardens and furnishing community rooms.

  15               Citibank has been very helpful with

  16     Enterprise's annual network conference, which

  17     now involves over 1,300 housing professionals

  18     from around the country.  Citibank executives

  19     have addressed the conference and participated

  20     in workshops.

  21               Enterprise supports the application

  22     for Citibank and Travelers to merge.  We hope

  23     that this is an opportunity to expand services

  24     to low-income communities, through the

  25     combination of Citibank's existing initiatives



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   2     with the resources that Travelers brings,

   3     including $100 million in tax credit

   4     investments made by Salomon Brothers.

   5               MR. LONEY:  Thank you, Ms. Tom.

   6               Mr. Warns.

   7               MR. WARNS:  Thank you for the

   8     opportunity to speak in support of Citibank and

   9     their work with us.

  10               I am president of the United Way of

  11     Tri-State which is a regional organization

  12     serving New York, Connecticut and New Jersey

  13     here in the New York metropolitan area.  The

  14     past year we raised about $103 million from

  15     about 140 regional companies of which Citibank

  16     is one.

  17               We distribute this money to 30

  18     participating United Ways in the three-state

  19     region.  These United Ways provide funding to

  20     1800 health and human service agencies in

  21     almost every community.

  22               Citibank has a major supporter of the

  23     United Way for many years.  Their support in

  24     fact helped found our organization in 1977 and

  25     prior to our founding, there was the Greater



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   2     New York Fund and several other United Ways in

   3     this area that they supported.  We were the

   4     first regional United Way to be formed here,

   5     thanks to their help.

   6               In 1997 Citibank donated $750,000 for

   7     the United Way campaign and their generous

   8     employees contributed another $1,850,000  for

   9     the campaign.  Since 1992 Citibank and it's

  10     employees have contributed over ten million

  11     dollars to the United Way in this region, that

  12     doesn't count the thousands of dollars they

  13     contribute elsewhere in the country.  These

  14     donations in conjunction with the donations of

  15     all other participating companies and their

  16     employees helps an estimated 6.5 million people

  17     in this region, or roughly about one in every

  18     three people over the past ten years.

  19               In addition, Citibank encourages

  20     their employees to volunteer, as you've heard

  21     here, with organizations in communities to help

  22     improve these communities in which they live,

  23     work and receive services themselves.  This

  24     help, as you've heard here, also has helped

  25     other nonprofits do well, as well as improve



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   2     the communities and the neighborhoods, at least

   3     in this region.

   4               The United Way is grateful for

   5     Citibank's support and believe the future

   6     combined entity with Travelers will also be a

   7     strong corporate supporter of health and human

   8     services throughout the tri-state region

   9     helping to meet critical human needs in this

  10     area.  Thank you very much.

Last update: December 3, 2010