Citi's New Chief Executive Talks Resource Allocation
Platt, Gordon, Global Finance
CEO Michael Corbat aims to restore Citi's prestige- and boost its dividend - by operating with extreme efficiency and producing sustainable profits. How he will effect that remains to be seen. A lifelong Citi executive, Corbat took the reins on October 1 6 with the abrupt departure of Vikram Pandit, who led the company through the global financial crisis and restored it to health following a government bailout in 2008.
Citi has made good progress this year in stabilizing its earnings and slimming down, but it failed the Federal Reserve's stress test in March, and Pandit was not allowed to increase payouts to shareholders. Corbat aims to improve relations with regulators and says Citi "will remain extraordinarily focused on our efficiency ratios."
A former Harvard football offensive lineman, Corbat joined Salomon Brothers in 1983. After Salomon became part of Citi, Corbat became head of emerging markets in the bank's fixed-income unit. He took over corporate lending in 2004 and wealth management in 2008. As head of Citi Holdings- which some market watchers had initially seen as a dead end, career-wise- he helped divest nearly $600 billion of troubled and noncore assets. …