Lisa Alonge Anniversary University The Anniversary Forum

200 Years Citi, Citigroup

Jonathan Woodier. Formerly: Managing Director, Global Projects Office 200 Years Citi, Citigroup

The following is an abstract of Jonathan Woodier’s presentation at The Corporate Anniversary Forum.

When Citigroup began planning for their 200th Anniversary they were coming out of the financial crisis. They were in a very challenging environment share price and morale was at an all-time low and trust an issue. With little stakeholder support, there was “no appetite for good news.”

Rebranding the new Citi post crisis, along with early discussions regarding the 200th anniversary, required learning deeply about Citi’s founding principles, which revealed that trust was at the heart of everything Citi did.  The CEO said “when we live up to Citi’s founding principles, we are at our best.”

The anniversary grasped hold of people’s imaginations and inspired bold regional conversations in 100 countries who shared what those sweeping changes needed to be.  To gain consensus, a compelling internal video was created to show why.


It was declared that the 200th Anniversary was going to be leveraged as an opportunity to re-launch Citi and carve out a path of leadership in the financial industry.


To rebuild trust and confidence, the 200th Anniversary focused on these five areas: Clients, Innovation, Brand, Talent, Employee Engagement

Communications and Engagement Goals

All components of 200 Years City should:

  • Make 200 Years Citi tangible
  • Reinforce Citi’s core principles
  • Celebrate the past, define the future
  • Be fully integrated with branding
  • Not be ostentatious and be in tune with local economic sentiment
  • Fire up employees at all levels – restore pride
  • Proactively connect with clients and customers – a “New Citi”

200 Years Citi Program

Activity snapshot

Social Media Results Snapshot 135M+ Impressions, 16M Unique Reach, 239K+ Engagement Activities, 98.7% Positive Sentiment

Campaign Impressions:

Employees were galvanized around the anniversary through strong internal communications and targeted initiatives.  Employee sentiment was overwhelming heartfelt and positive. Citi employee

Seeing the finished video (The Proud employee music video) live on stage this evening blew me away and made me proud of be part of this company, a feeling that’s been suppressed for a long time. 200 Year event attendee

What we know now is that a significant milestone inspires employees and customers to embrace a grand purpose. Jonathan Woodier

To have been able to share ideas and hear key learnings from other organizations would have been so useful. While I sought out those who were already working on meaningful milestone to ask their experience, it was not easy to track the right people down. Jonathan Woodier

Those who are wary of change may push for a “party.” However, using an anniversary to effect real change and drive performance will provide tangible ROI. Jonathan Woodier

Interview with Jonathan Woodier at The Corporate Anniversary Forum