Corporate Fraud Destroyed Your Firm's Reputation? Give Vikram Pandit A Call

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Whether it's a rate-rigging scandal, a "culture" problem, or just a bunch of clowns dicking around on IM and ruining it for the whole group, Uncle Vik is here to help.

Less than two years after he was ousted as chief executive of Citigroup Inc., Vikram Pandit is collaborating with the co-author of the popular "Freakonomics" book series to launch a new consulting business aimed at helping companies improve their cultures and use of technology. Mr. Pandit and his new colleagues have been ringing up bank chief executives and others and offering their services. Among the recent recipients of the pitch: Top executives at Deutsche Bank AG, which is trying to improve its corporate culture amid a number of regulatory and legal problems.

The firm, called TGG, is promoting "a novel approach to address the challenges that large complex organizations face in compliance, fraud, corruption, and culture and reputation," said an email to Deutsche executives from Hamid Biglari, one of Mr. Pandit's former Citigroup lieutenants and a managing partner of the new venture. "We think the results are transformative for companies looking to create a culture of performance and integrity," the email said. Another plus, according to the email: Messrs. Pandit and Biglari's "domain expertise" from their time running Citigroup. The email, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, proposes that Messrs. Pandit and Biglari, whose venture is based in Midtown Manhattan, fly to Frankfurt or London for lunch with the Deutsche Bank executives. It isn't clear whether the rendezvous will actually happen...Mr. Biglari's email says TGG's partners include Steven Levitt, co-author of the "Freakonomics" series that combines economics with everyday decision-making, and Daniel Kahneman, a winner of the Nobel Prize in economics.

Former Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit Launching New Consulting Firm [WSJ]

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Securities And Exchange Commission To Make A Couple Calls Re: Vikram Pandit's Breakup With Citi

The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched a probe into the messy departure of Vikram Pandit as chief executive of Citigroup and whether the board of directors of the big bank properly disclosed his ouster, the FOX Business Network has learned. One person familiar with the matter says the SEC’s inquiry is informal and has not reached the level of a full-blown investigation. But it is a sign the SEC is clearly interested in the circumstances surrounding Pandit’s official “resignation” from the big bank. Those details have been in dispute since the October 16 announcement. Both Pandit and Citigroup chairman Michael O’Neill have said in interviews and during conference calls with analysts that the decision was Pandit’s to leave the firm. [FBN, earlier]