Lisa Caputo


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Most marketing executives know a thing or two about office politics. Lisa Caputo knows politics for real. She served as press secretary to Hillary Clinton during Bill Clinton's first term as president. "Hillary Clinton taught me about grit," Ms. Caputo says. "She taught me about work ethic and grace under fire."

Last year, Ms. Caputo tapped those virtues, among others, in leading the strategy to unify Citigroup's numerous brands into one master brand: Citi. Citigroup previously used Citi as a prefix in many of the company's businesses -- such as Citibank, CitiFinancial, CitiMortgage and Citi Smith Barney -- but Citi now refers to the company overall.

Leveraging the logo's red arc as a symbol of Citi's capacity to turn financial dreams into realities, "we've positioned Citi as a partner in helping you achieve financial success in whatever way you define it," says Ms. Caputo, who also engineered a marketing relationship with the New York Mets. The baseball team's new home, opening next year, will be called Citi Field.

"It is not easy to craft a brand identity ... that has relevance across age, cultures and customer segments in more than 100 countries," says Ajay Banga, CEO of Citi-Asia Pacific, who credits Ms. Caputo' s intelligence and tenacity for her role in the success of this "unprecedented collaborative effort across the Citi franchise." Mr. Banga adds: "When she sets a goal, she remains focused on moving forward consistently to achieve it."

Under Ms. Caputo's direction, Citi introduced its first global corporate-brand ad campaign since the 1998 merger of Travelers and Citicorp. The campaign from Publicis, New York and Seattle, launched in markets around the world leading up to a U.S. media blitz. TV spots, followed by print and other media, generated more than 700 million media impressions in the U.S. alone within 24 hours of its debut, according to Nielsen.

What else did the New York senator and presidential hopeful teach the Citi CMO? "She taught me about the responsibility we as women have to each other," says Ms. Caputo, who mentors women at Citi.

She's taken that ideal to an institutional level as creator and chairman-CEO of Women & Co., a unit of Citi. Women & Co. -- whose members have about $29 billion in assets, deposits and loans at Citi -- addresses the unique financial needs of women, providing financial education, resources and benefits to help members take charge of planning their financial futures.

Pointing to such initiatives as the "Shape Your Future" retirement challenge, an educational microsite that helps Women & Co. members boost their retirement-planning IQs, Ms. Caputo says the unit's offerings are tailor-made for women. "Women & Co. is not just the same financial services wrapped in pink," she says.
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