Global Head, Citi Private Bank
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Individuals and communities around the world are displaying immense compassion, generosity, and solidarity.
I do hope that this message finds you and your loved ones safe and well. Our thoughts at this difficult time are especially with those who are currently battling COVID-19 or who have suffered bereavements.
I am writing to you from an unusually quiet and tense New York City, where I have been working from home. It is sad to see my beloved adopted hometown enduring such extreme conditions, having become the epicenter of the pandemic in the US. At the same time, I am in awe of the medical professionals and volunteers who are risking their lives in the fightback. They embody the unbreakable spirit of this incredible city and I salute them all.
I realize that some of you will now have been living under lockdown and other restrictions for several weeks. While helping to protect others and ourselves from COVID-19, prolonged isolation and confinement can put an enormous strain on us. The latest technology may allow us to communicate with our colleagues, friends, and family members more smoothly than ever before, but it will never beat actually being there. Once life returns to normal, we will surely cherish real interaction more than ever.
With more than a million confirmed cases and over 50,000 deaths globally, the tragedy of COVID-19 continues to unfold. Amid the suffering and uncertainty, however, the human response is inspiring. Individuals and communities around the world are displaying immense compassion, generosity, and solidarity. This is every bit as important as the unprecedented support that governments are providing. The state alone cannot solve the present crisis; it is down to each of us to make a difference. Philanthropic efforts – of the kind that so many of you, our clients, are involved in – are central to this. As Karen Kardos, North America Head of Philanthropic Advisory, explains, our time and talents are among the gifts that we can make. This really is global citizenship in action.
As well as philanthropy, innovation and entrepreneurship are integral to global citizenship. The ingenuity of cutting-edge businesses is helping us to maintain many daily activities amid today’s restrictions. In the same way, certain companies could accelerate our return to normality. Citi Research this week discussed the potential for antibody testing to enable large numbers of workers to return to work in the coming months, thus reviving the global economy. Ultimately, innovative companies will surely provide effective vaccines against COVID-19.
Citi Private Bank can envisage a brighter period ahead. David Bailin and Steven Wieting set out this week how the global economy and public mood might begin the recovery, as well as various portfolio actions to consider. However, they also highlight key risks concerning public health, the economy, and markets of which everyone should be aware. To hear David and Steven’s latest insights – and to ask your questions directly – I warmly invite all clients to join them for their next webcast on 9 April.
Meanwhile, all of Citi is working harder than ever before to assist you, our communities worldwide, and the wider economy. If you would like to hear more details about Citi’s commitment at this time, I would encourage you to watch our CEO Mike Corbat’s recent CNBC interview.
Please stay safe, stay healthy, and stay positive.