Global Transaction Services, a business unit of Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking, is launching Citigroup Trade University, a monthly series of web seminars showcasing a comprehensive curriculum of global trade topics. This educational programme is designed specifically to help Citigroup’s clients benefit from its expertise and knowledge of the global trade marketplace.

“We are using this new channel – Citigroup Trade University – to provide thought leadership to, and share intellectual capital with our clients,” says Claudia Slacik, global head, trade services and finance, Global Transaction Services. “Global trade is a dynamic marketplace – highly competitive, endlessly evolving and constantly influenced by political, economic and cultural forces. This series is designed to help our clients understand and navigate this changing marketplace, by providing them with a core educational toolset of the factors and forces affecting global trade.”

Citigroup Trade University has been designed to educate clients on the practical and pragmatic aspects of trade. Citigroup trade experts conduct the sessions, with the curriculum emphasising the practical application of market-proven solutions. Seminar topics range from the most current innovation in trade documentation to the most sophisticated trade financing solutions. The interactive format, with the sessions conveniently accessible through a straightforward log-on procedure, allows for a vigorous exchange of ideas among the participants.

Citigroup Trade University’s inaugural session was on “Unlocking the Benefits of Export Letters of Credit “Focusing on multiple applications of this documentation instrument, a key trade finance vehicle, the “Webinar “addressed the benefits export LCs can provide to help mitigate risk, streamline supply chains and increase overall efficiency in cross-border trade.

Attendees at the initial seminars included trade, logistics and financial management executives representing a broad cross-section of business sectors and industries, from aerospace, apparel and automotive to chemicals, pharmaceutical and technology.

Dave Conroy, global head of trade sales says, “Client response to our Trade University has been very positive, and we are experiencing a high volume of enrolment for future sessions. The level of feedback tells us that we are addressing a key client need by launching this educational series.”
The second topic covered in Citigroup Trade University was “Effective Terms of Trade for Importers: Migrating from LCs to Open Account Terms ‘.

In addition to providing attendees with an in-depth understanding of the trend toward open account, this online session included a thorough examination of LC and open account terms, a comparison of assorted cross-border trading structures and the importance for importers of developing an effective open account strategy.

A new global trade topic is featured monthly, with two sessions devoted to the same subject to accommodate client-scheduling needs. The next seminar – a two-part programme – will focus on trade trends, opportunities and solutions for the Latin America market and will be held on May 30 and May 31.

“As a leader in the field, we are constantly looking for ways to enrich and educate our clients with the latest solutions and services in the trade universe. This programme gives us an effective distribution channel to share this knowledge with our clients,” Citigroup’s Slacik continues, ”and we look forward to expanding the scope of this programme to provide the trade expertise our clients “need for their continued growth worldwide.”