Citigroup Inc. is putting the finishing touches on the complete renovation of its Manhattan headquarters — and its traders are among thousands of employees reaping the benefits.
The bank’s trading floors — long known for being festooned with flags marking the home countries of its hundreds of traders, and banners touting years of good performance — have gotten swankier, with floor-to-ceiling windows, desks outfitted with 43-inch computer monitors and small cafeterias on every floor.
The upgrades are part of a sweeping remodel of Citigroup’s headquarters, located in the posh Tribeca neighborhood. The renovation combined two buildings, at 388 and 390 Greenwich St., into one. The bank plans to consolidate more than 80 per cent of its New York-area workforce at the location, up from 40 per cent just five years ago.
The five-year project is slated for completion next year, when Citigroup will open a new roof deck, where employees will be able to take yoga classes and enjoy sweeping views of the Hudson River. Already finished: a new lobby area, known as the Town Square, where employees might spot Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat working from time to time next to an in-house Starbucks.
“I love the Town Square — I go down there and use it,” said Corbat, who gave up his private office and moved to open-floor-plan seating as part of the renovation. “Every time I go by the Starbucks line, it’s 25-people long,” he said, adding that “as people are away from their day jobs and waiting for their coffee, it creates connectivity.”
With the changes, Citigroup is putting 12,000 employees in facilities that previously held 9,000. To accomplish that, the lender has largely ditched private offices and moved to unassigned seating. On half the floors, employees arrive to work each day and sit at any open desk.
Unassigned seating allows the lender to make more efficient use of the 30 per cent of desks that sit empty every day due to vacation, illness or business travel, according to Mark Marcucci, global head of Citigroup’s realty services.
While some employees may be upset over losing their private offices, the bank beefed up shared amenities, boosting square footage for those perks by 35 per cent, Marcucci said. Its new gym facilities offer Peloton bikes and other trendy group classes for employees with memberships, who can borrow gear for a last-minute workout.
The company also redid its cafeteria, now known as Three Eighty Ate, which serves 3,700 customers a day. The eatery, which hosted the company’s annual shareholder meeting this year, sold 3,000 slices of breakfast pizza, 12,000 smoothies and 27,000 sushi rolls in its first year of operation.
When the work is complete, Citigroup will have gone from 17 office locations with 7.9 million square feet in the New York area to just five with 3.1 million square feet. The headquarters overhaul also means that, for the first time, the company’s consumer-bank staff sit alongside their counterparts in the institutional-clients group.
“Up until 2008 or so, it was really a company that had come together through a series of mergers,” Corbat said. “What we want is to make sure we come to work as one company.”