Citigroup seeks new chief executive as sub-prime losses mount
by Gill Montia
Citigroup, the world’s largest bank, could appoint a new chief executive this week.
The group’s board is reported to be considering two candidates: Vikram Pandit, its head of investment banking, and Robert Willumstad, a former president of the bank.
Mr Pandit joined Citigroup during the summer when the bank bought the hedge fund, Old Lane Partners.
Other bankers, including Sir Fred Goodwin, chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, and Bob Diamond, head of Barclays Capital, have also been named as possible candidates.
It was rumoured last week that Josef Ackerman, the chief executive of Deutsche Bank, had received an offer, which he declined.
Charles Prince resigned as chief executive and chairman of Citigroup at the beginning of November, as it became apparent that the bank’s losses from investments in mortgage-backed bonds would be well above forecasts.
It is unlikely that the candidates currently being considered for the role of chief executive would also take on the job of chairman but shareholders are keen that the two appointments are made speedily.
Determined leadership is seen by investors as essential, not least because the bank is expected to write-down a further $11 billion in sub-prime related losses before the turn of the year.
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