If you didn’t know Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit, you might think he enjoyed not being compensated for the work he does at Citigroup because for quite some time, he wasn’t. And although the “I will only get paid $1/year until Citi turns a profit” exercise was fun for a while, he was pretty happy when the old jalopy started making money again, in part because it meant he could receive a paycheck. Then last April, his shareholders rejected the bank’s executive pay plan, claiming the Big C “lets Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit collect millions of dollars in rewards too easily.” And while it’s possible that Citi shareholders are just a bunch of pricks who chose to overlook the fact that Uncle Vikula didn’t collect squat for several years and once had an entire article written about the fact that lieutenants attributed a “new bounce in his step” to him daydreaming “the day when he is going to earn more than a $1 a year,” maybe they just assume that he doesn’t care about getting paid either way? Anyway, here’s Vickles, setting the record straight (and reminding anyone who forgot about the sacrifices he’s made): Read more »
Remember Debrahlee Lorenzana? For those with short memories, two years ago, Lorenzana sued Citibank for firing her for allegedly being “too hot,” a claim representatives of the bank denied several times, while also calling her an attention whore. After the initial hoopla, interest in Lorenzana, who once appeared on a TV show discussing her reasons for having her breasts enlarged (she wanted to look like “tits on a stick” in order to attract a “professional, well-educated man”) died down and many likely forgot about the story of T’s on an S versus Citi. In a Daily News article today, though, Debs said that she passed on a settlement wanting instead to “press on.” While it’s not clear that anyone reading the piece took it to mean Lorenzana had in fact received damages for her hotness, Citi was not having it. Lest there be any confusion about whether or not she extracted jack from Vikram et al, the bank needs the world to know the following: Read more »
Meredith Whitney is a banking analyst made famous by downgrading Citigroup in late October 2007, saying that the bank was facing a $30 billion capital shortfall and later telling the press “Citigroup is in such a mess Stephen Hawking couldn’t turn this company around.” In the years since she’s had less than flattering things to say about the firm and as recently as March 14, 2012, told CNBC that Citi “has no earnings power, isn’t going to grow, hasn’t been investable in four years” and “is like an old broken-down Victorian house.” (In the same interview, she told Maria Bartiromo that the only way she’d change her mind about the big C would be if she received “a new brain.”) So it probably surprised a few people when, earlier this month, she upgraded the bank. But please, do not get the mistaken impression that she’s suddenly in love with the place or has developed any feelings for it whatsoever. Fact of the matter is, the mere thought of the place still sickens her. Read more »
Bloomberg reports that Uncle Vik has put his 6-bedroom, 6-bath Greenwich, CT weekend house on the market and while experts are skeptical he’ll get the $4.3 million asking price, perhaps someone will consider throwing him a bone. Citi shareholders have screwed him yet again and he could use the cash. No zen garden to speak of (cruel world) but there are “rolling grounds” and a lagoon-like pool. Make him an offer.
In the spring of 2010, almost exactly two years ago to date, the New York Times reported that some of Vikram Pandit’s top lieutenants had noticed “a new bounce in his step” and “a smile on his face,” with one executive speculating that the Citi CEO’s cheer could be attributed to the fact that he was starting to “see the day when he will earn more than $1 a year” as being within reach. On January 18, 2011, that day came. After essentially not receiving a salary since 2008, when he pledged to abstain from getting paid until Citi turned a profit, the board of directors approved “an increase in the annual rate of base salary for Vikram from $1 per year to $1,750,000 per year, effective immediately.” It felt good. Really good. Smiles and bouncing as far as the eye could see good. Know what does’t feel so good? This crap. Read more »
If Citi’s Ex-Hedge Fund Chief Had To Do It All Over Again He’d Still Invest Like No One Was WatchingBy Bess Levin
Reaz Islam, who ran Citigroup hedge funds that lost most of their value in 2008, has “no regrets” about his performance and said “ambulance-chasing” lawyers are behind claims that he and the bank misled clients…The funds, now defunct, placed Citigroup at the center of a regulatory probe and a wave of litigation when they crashed four years ago. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or Finra, has ordered the bank to pay at least $60 million to some of the funds’ investors, who said that Citigroup pitched them a safe, more profitable alternative to other fixed-income investments. There are 69 claims remaining, according to Philip Aidikoff, a lawyer for plaintiffs. “This was a high-volatility, high-return strategy and never a safe and riskless investment as claimed by a few rogue, ambulance-chasing attorneys,” Islam said in an e-mail. “I have no regrets and obviously learned a lot from the crisis, notably to expect the unexpected at all times and how people change color in times of crisis.” [Bloomberg]