Depending on who you believe, at some point on Monday night, Vikram Pandit either decided to voluntarily leave his post at Citigroup or was pushed out by the board. Those going with Scenario B say Pandit was “ousted…after it was concluded his mismanagement had caused setbacks with regulators and cost credibility with investors,” and that the board wanted a chief executive officer who would “place a special emphasis on sharpening the company’s focus on achieving sustained, strong operating performance.” While some have suggested that Vikram did the best job anyone in his position could and that this fantasy that one day, with the right guy in charge, Citi could be competing with Goldman for most prestigious financial institution is laughable at best, others maintain the Big C’s best days are ahead of it.
One way the firm will supposedly get there is by cutting the many layers of fat it has accumulated over the years. Considering Citi is at the point that it has to be airlifted out of the house to get to work every morning and do basic errands around town, getting in shape will be no easy task. But if there’s one guy who can do it, it’s new CEO Mike Corbat, according his personal trainer.
Citigroup paid a hedge-fund manager with a doctorate in finance more than $200 million over five years to save the bank from the brink of collapse. Now it’s turning to a former Harvard football lineman to run it better…That may mean cutting jobs, overhauling management, exiting businesses and improving ties with regulators, who this year blocked Pandit, 55, from fulfilling a pledge to restore shareholder payouts, said analysts, investors, employees and former Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair…Corbat has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he played football as an all- conference offensive guard. He was assigned by Pandit in April 2009 to divest $573 billion of assets as permanent head of the Citi Holdings unit, which held unwanted businesses. They included private-equity stakes, auto loans, a life insurer, a student-loan firm, a fund- of-hedge-funds business as well as mortgages and corporate bonds.
In 2010, he pursued an exercise regimen called the Spartacus Workout that, according to MensHealth.com, is designed to “torch fat” and “send your fitness level soaring,” people with knowledge of his routine said. The Spartacus Workout entails a series of minute-long exercises including squats, pushups and dumbbell lifts, with 15 seconds of rest in between, according to MensHealth.com. The process is repeated twice.
Enjoy today’s lunch of Ho-Hos and deep-fried Twinkies, ’cause it’s your last.
Citigroup Picks Spartacus-Trained Corbat to Cut Fat After Pandit [Bloomberg]
The Spartacus Workout [Men’s Health]