Vikram Pandit Wants To Help You Get That M.B.A.


So he's taking some time off from his other exciting post-Citiventures, crossing the East River* and making some dreams come true.

Mr. Pandit is among the investors in a round of financing raised by CommonBond, a Brooklyn-based start-up that lends to M.B.A. students and refinances existing debt. The financing, including equity and debt, totals more than $100 million, the company said.

Though Mr. Pandit has kept a low profile since his sudden departure from the helm of one of the nation’s biggest banks, the CommonBond deal is his second publicly disclosed investment this year. In May, Mr. Pandit and a business partner bought a 3 percent stake in the Indian financial services firm JM Financial.

The two investments fit under a broader thesis that the business of providing credit is changing, as traditional banks pull back. Mr. Pandit plans to make more investments along these lines, according to a person familiar with his thinking who spoke on condition of anonymity….

“Finance is changing in fundamental ways,” David Klein, the chief executive and co-founder of CommonBond, said in an interview. “Not to be overly dramatic, but I think we’re going through an evolution in finance right now that we haven’t seen since 1500s Venice,” when modern systems of credit were developed.

Unlike a traditional lender, CommonBond collects money from individual investors, including alumni of graduate programs who want to support other students, and channels it into loans. The company promises lower rates than those offered by the federal government.

Lending Start-Up CommonBond Raises $100 Million, With Pandit as Investor [DealBook]
*Figuratively, we presume. His check is crossing the river, at least.


By World Economic Forum [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Vikram Pandit Just Wanted To Say Goodbye

A former CEO’s lament, and plan for revenge.

Vikram Pandit Is Committed To Getting Paid

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, reminding anyone who forgot about the sacrifices he made and setting the record straight: “The board has this process with them, they’re going through it, and they are committed, as I am, to making sure that they resolve this,” Pandit said. “I want to get paid what the board thinks is right for me, for the job that I’ve done and for the incentives that they think I ought to have.” Pandit told lawmakers in 2009 that he would take a $1 annual salary until he restored the bank to profitability. Citigroup made a $21.7 billion profit for 2011 and 2010 combined, compared with a $29.3 billion loss for the two preceding years. “When the company was losing money, I stepped up and said I’ll take a dollar a year and I did, exactly for that reason, exactly the right thing to do,” Pandit said. For those having trouble separating the nice guy/don't want to offend anyone statement from what he's actually trying to say, a rough translation of the above would be: get me paid, bitch! Citigroup Will Resolve CEO Pay By End Of Year, Pandit Says [Bloomberg]