Earlier today it was rumored that Citi had "kicked off week three of a research department hiring binge that has unemployed sell-side analysts partying like its 1999," starting with the signing of a multi-year, multi-million dollar guaranteed package for a mid-cap software analyst. Some people thought this was outrageous, due to the fact that the alleged money was coming from TARP. We just thought that, if true, it was an outrage that anyone would be getting this kind of contract before Vikram got his Zen Garden. So we were delighted to hear from a Citi spokesman, who assured us it wasn't true.
Bess: Zen gardens aside, your source is wrong and so I cry bullshit to "And, Yet, Vikram Is Still Down One Zen Garden".
1) We do not give multiyear guarantees.
2) We don't cover CVLT.
3) In the US, we have hired only one analyst since September--hardly a binge. (We did hire one Latin America equity analyst who is based outside US and hired a head of Latin America research based in NYC. But he is a manager, not an analyst.)
Update: From the original tipster:
Point 1. According to everyone I know with knowledge of the situation, this is false in this case. I am not going into more detail but one of the key negotiating points was the multi-year guarantee.
Point 2. CVLT was one smaller name that he covered at his previous job that was mentioned jokingly. Part of what makes this hiring so funny is it APPEARS that Citi is paying for his Valley relationships, allowing them to compete for smaller M&A deals that would normally be handled by the little guys. Is their IB franchise that desperate these days?
Point 3. They have been doing Senior Analyst interviews for "three weeks straight across several sectors."