Earlier this week, we learned that after nearly a decade of fighting, hedge fund managers Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn had decided to forgive each other. While it was a shock to anyone who’s ever heard the two mens’ comments about each other in the past, it was but child’s play to Wall Street’s latest attempt at a burying of the hatchet. Perhaps inspired by Ackman and Icahn, perhaps having recently turned 81 and taking stock of his life, former Citigroup chief Sandy Weill appeared on CNBC today and had the following to say:
“I wish Jamie [Dimon] and I had been able to work out our issues and that it didn’t have to end up in a break up, because it was a very good relationship,” Weill said. Dimon was fired by Weill shortly after the Travelers and Citicorp merger in 1998—abruptly ending a 15-year partnership that saw them build a financial services empire like no other at the time.
While Dimon was later able to pick up the pieces, taking a job with Bank One, the wounds did not heal so easily. Many people say that everything Dimon has done since Weill cast him aside has been in an effort to prove his former mentor wrong. (Including the whole London Whale thing. Sandy always loved a good whale watch.) If Weill is expecting an “I forgive you” call from the son whose heart he broke, he’s going to have to do a lot better than this!
In related news, lest anyone thing the ex-Citi chief is going soft is going soft, Weill made it fairly clear that Chuck Prince should not expects any letters of reference or good words put in from his former boss.
Reflecting on his decades-long career, Weill said the other big mistake he made was choosing Chuck Prince to succeed him as Citigroup boss, because the pick led to departures of many top executives.