Mike Corbat scored himself a nice little raise. Read more »
Not Going On TV And Telling Regulators To “Regulate This [gestures at crotch]” Working Out Pretty Well For Mike CorbatBy Bess Levin
Back in the day, as in pre-financial crisis, it was okay– nay, encouraged– for a bank chief executive officer to conduct himself in a brash, swaggering manner that communicated a general message of “I do what I want and if you don’t like it, suck on this.” Regulators were peons to be told where to go, the pages of the Journal were a place to thump their chests. San Pietro was a place for holding court while knocking back 9 martinis. If you didn’t like what they had to say, too damn bad.
Somewhere in the last couple years, though, things started to change. People no longer wanted to hear executives who helped cause the global financial crisis tell the world why they were right and you were wrong. Responding to calls that enormous bonuses struck an out of touch tone by inviting CNBC into their offices, dropping trau, telling the cameraman “you’re gonna wanna zoom in on this,” and rolling around in a pile of money with abandon was no longer as effective as it once was. Regulators no longer took kindly to receiving FedEx packages that included photographs of CEOs using pages of, for example Dodd-Frank, as toilet paper with a gold star atop that read “You tried.”
Citi announced its quarter this morning and there are various ways to tell that it was good, of which “the stock was up” is probably the main one. A possibly less objective test is that, back in March, Mike Corbat told everyone how he would grade himself, if he was grading himself. As he put it today:
Last month, I presented three targets we aim to reach by the end of 2015. First is achieving an efficiency ratio in Citicorp in the mid 50% range. Second, we want to generate a return on Citigroup’s tangible common equity of over 10%. And third is reaching a return on Citigroup’s assets of between 90 and 110 basis points in a risk-balanced manner.
Today Citi announced $4.0 billion of net income (excluding CVA/DVA), or $1.29 per share, which I work out to around 82bps of ROA, 9.86% ROTCE, and a 55.6% Citicorp efficiency ratio.1 So … pretty good, all in all?
One oddity of Corbat’s three-part plan is that two of the parts sort of collapse into each other. Read more »
Mike Corbat, the new chief executive officer of Citigroup, said the company’s profit goal for 2015 is earn at least a 10 percent return on the company’s tangible common equity. The target was posted on the company’s website on Tuesday in slides Corbat planned to use a few minutes later in a speech at an investor conference. The slides also showed a goal of earning a return on assets of 0.9 percent to 1.1 percent. In 2012, the company earned 7.9 percent on tangible common equity and 0.91 percent on assets, after adjustments for items. [Reuters]
Back in October when Mike Corbat was dragged from bed in the middle of the night to take over the top job at Citigroup after Vikram Pandit’s ouster, he did a hastily assembled damage-control conference call while still wearing his footie pajamas. On this call CLSA analyst Mike Mayo surprised Corbat by asking him a softball interview question, namely: tell me how you want your tenure as CEO to be measured in five years. Corbat’s response – and here I’m quoting from memory – was “Wait, I’m the CEO? Crap. Let me get back to you on that.”
Corbat may have forgotten that promise, but Mayo did not, and he asked the question again yesterday – on Corbat’s first earnings call as Citi CEO – and got in reply maybe the single best sentence a bank CEO has ever said:1
Mike Mayo – CLSA
And then for Mike, I asked this question when you first got the CEO job. If in five years from now you were to look back at your performance, what would you want to see to show that you were successful?
Mike Corbat – CEO
I think probably going back to your first line of questioning, we’ve got to get to a point where we stop destroying our shareholders’ capital. I would say that would certainly be at the top of the list, that we run a smart and efficient business that’s good at its allocation of its resources around its customer and client segments, that it’s continued to have the ability to lead in a company those clients around the world, that it served the social purpose. There’s several things in there.
This seems a little unfair! Read more »