Magazine article American Banker

People

Magazine article American Banker

People

Article excerpt

A Weill Overture?

Sandy Weill made headlines earlier this week because of a big deal, but not on behalf of his company, Citigroup Inc. Mr. Weill orchestrated the surprise reunion of the New York Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall, of which he is also chairman. The Philharmonic, which left the New York landmark in the 1960s for a new home at Lincoln Center, said Sunday that it plans to return to Carnegie Hall by 2006.

Mr. Weill, who will undoubtedly have done a few more mergers by that time, met with Chad Gifford of FleetBoston Financial Corp. Tuesday morning while the two were attending a Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. conference in New York. By Mr. Gifford's account, the meeting was friendly.

Citi has long been thought to be interested in buying Fleet. So was the CEOs' get-together a signal that a deal is in the works?

Mr. Gifford, who acknowledges that Fleet's stock has suffered in the last year because of loan losses and underperforming operations, suggested the mere sight of the pair could help turn things around. "I'm sure you all noticed the warm embrace I received from Sandy," he said in a presentation that followed Mr. Weill's. "If nothing else, a warm embrace from Sandy is going to do a lot" for Fleet's stock.

He was quick to add, indicating either his noted dark humor or the application of an electric shock by Fleet's head of investor relations, who accompanied Mr. Gifford to the presentation, "Of course you know I'm being sarcastic."

Office by the Rink

Molly Sapienza has an office like that of few bankers, at least in location.

For the past two months, since just before the end of the National Hockey League's regular season, Ms. Sapienza has been a sponsorship marketing manager for RBC Centura Banks of Rocky Mount, N.C., the U.S. retail banking unit of Royal Bank of Canada.

Her workplace is the RBC Center, a year-old entertainment and sports arena in Raleigh that is home to the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes and the North Carolina State University men's basketball team.

Royal Bank of Canada -- which brands all its business units with the initials RBC -- last summer agreed to pay $80 million over the next 20 years to put its name on the Raleigh arena. …

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