John Havens

John Havens Gets His Old Job Back

How do you show gratitude to a person who literally gave you a $5.6 billion hedge fund, asking nothing in return, even as he was being shown the door? Surely, a thank-you card doesn’t quite cut it.

Well, Napier Park Global Capital’s Jon Dorfman and Jim O’Brien think they have figured it out: an office, a lofty-sounding title, a paycheck, a part-time job and a hefty measure of vindication. Read more »

Over at the Journal today you will find a story called “Awkward Spot For Citi’s CEO,” which details the various awkwardness encountered by Mike Corbat since he took over as Chief Executive Officer, following Vikram Pandit’s awkward ousting. There is also a delightful bonus round of awkwardness that comes as a postscript to the article, but we’ll get the that later. First, why are things slightly awk for Corbat?

Well, for starters, he knew that Pandit was going to be unexpectedly and unceremoniously fired long before VP did, including the entire time they were on a business trip in Tokyo together. The whole time they were flying over there together, having dinner together, meeting with clients together, taking in shows and doing touristy things when they had downtime from the conference together, he knew Pandit was about to get hit by a truck. No one blames Corbat for Vickles being canned but, at the same time, there is a feeling by a few at Citi that you’d have to be some kind of monster to look a guy in the eye and say “Sure, a trip the the Zen Temples sounds great,” and take in the cherry blossoms and drink sake and do karaoke and fight over who is Scarlett Johansson and who is Bill Murray with him all the while knowing what was going to happen when you got home.

For Vikram Pandit, a trip to Tokyo for the International Monetary Fund and World Bank conference last month seemed routine. But Michael Corbat, the longtime Citigroup executive who joined Mr. Pandit there, knew better. Unbeknown to Mr. Pandit, Citigroup Chairman Mike O’Neill had told Mr. Corbat that the board could seek Mr. Pandit’s resignation as chief executive and hand the job to Mr. Corbat, according to people familiar with the situation. A day after Messrs. Pandit and Corbat returned to New York, that is exactly what happened. A host of financial, competitive and regulatory issues confronts the 52-year-old Mr. Corbat atop the nation’s third-biggest bank by assets. But no task is more critical than soothing workers unsettled by the way the board ousted Mr. Pandit and his longtime right-hand man, John Havens, who ran the investment bank and served as president and chief operating officer. The effort is made even more delicate by Mr. Corbat’s proximity to Mr. Pandit in the days before the coup. Executives say they don’t blame Mr. Corbat for Mr. Pandit’s overthrow, though some wondered how Mr. Corbat was able to sit through the IMF meetings knowing what was to unfold.

Additionally awkward is the fact that there has been chatter around the office and scrawled on the walls of the men’s room that there’s only enough room in this Citi for one guy named Mike, and it’s not Corbat.

Adding to Mr. Corbat’s challenges is the perception among some insiders that he is overshadowed by Mr. O’Neill. Employees have privately joked that of the two Mikes, it is Mr. O’Neill who is truly in charge. People close to Mr. O’Neill dispute that notion and say he has spent little time at his Citigroup office in the past month.

Finally, you have the awkwardness of Mike not only knowing his colleague Vikram was going to be fired, but that his colleague and friend, John Havens, was getting the boot himself, which may or may not have caused auxiliary awkwardness for Corbat on the home front.

Mr. Corbat’s position is all the more awkward given his close personal relationship with Mr. Havens. The two men spent time together outside of work, occasionally vacationing with their wives at Mr. Havens’ Scotland estate.

All good examples of things that could be characterized as awkward to be sure. However, the absolute most wonderful bit of awkwardness to be found in “Awkward Spot For Citi’s CEO,” is, without question, this: Read more »

  • 09 Nov 2012 at 6:19 PM

Bonus Watch ’12: Ex-Citigroup CEOs

Just because they unceremoniously threw him out on his ass doesn’t mean the board wants to see Vikram go home empty handed. Read more »

  • 27 Apr 2011 at 10:57 AM

Who Wants To Work With Vikram Pandit?

Citi needs 500 bankers and traders to help it ride the “global genie” train. Read more »

  • 06 Jan 2010 at 4:47 PM

The Secret To Making The Big Bucks At Citigroup

johnhavensciti.jpgA lot people who work at Citi, relative to other banks and the finance industry at large, make shit money. Obviously, we’re not just talking about the first year rainmakers but up and own the food chain, Uncle Vikula included. But, as previously mentioned, there is one man who was compensated pretty nicely this year. Investment banking chief John Havens, who took home $9 million, making him the highest paid employee at the world’s largest diversified whorehouse. Those of you with the honor of working at the bank would probably like to know how you could break yourselves off a piece of that. The good news is, it doesn’t involve debasing yourself any more than you already have.
The bad news is it’s going to take some serious outside the box, revolutionary, cheapskate thinking, that will somehow translate to saving Citi tens, if not hundreds of dollars each year. ‘Cause that’s what John Havens did when he came up with the idea to ban color-copies and insist on using both sides, and that’s why he’s make making money money take taking money money, and his CEO buddy is getting paid a nickel.
Citigroup’s John Havens Was Paid $9 Million in 2009 [Daily Intel]