Is there a more dysfunctional corporate culture on Wall Street than Citigroup? Even as the bank moves closer to buying a one year old hedge fund for a reported $600 million in an effort to recruit a former Morgan Stanley executive, reports are filtering out about in-fighting and backstabbing at the highest levels of the financial giant. Citigroup is thought to suffer from a lack of leadership in the top ranks but its top ranks certainly don't lack for ambition.
The word on the street is that Citigroup chief executive Chuck Prince might not last out the year, and his would be successors are angling for the top slot. Chief Operating Officer Robert Druskin is considered a force to be reckoned with, but we’re hearing his chances have been hurt by the market’s flaccid reaction to the much heralded cost-cutting measures.
The New York Post yesterday handicapped the various players.
The cutbacks could work against one of Druskin's rival candidates, Thomas Maheras, 44, the co-head of investment banking. Since cost reductions are in step with a weakened bull market, it could signal a company focus on revenue sources other than Maheras' investment banking group, which has slacked in the past two years.
Other top players considered likely candidates for the throne are Aljay Banga, 47, head of the bank's global consumer group; Michael Klein, 43, who's co-head of investment banking with Maheras, and the new CFO Gary Crittenden, 53, appointed just a month ago.
And, of course, there’s Old Lane’s Vikram Pandit. Today the New York Times reports that Citigroup may announce the acquisition of his hedge fund as early as Tuesday. He’s said to be a more than capable manager. But before you go long on Vikram, keep in mind that he left Morgan Stanley to go after the hedge fund bucks. At least one person familiar with Vikkers has told DealBreaker that they doubt he really wants to run the bank.
One more thought: where's Sallie Krawcheck on this list?
Prince's Heir [New York Post]
To Snare a Coveted Banker, Citigroup May Buy a Hedge Fund [New York Times]