Thursday, January 20, 2011

Uncle Vik at it again

Vikram Pandit has announced a management shakeup at Citi, the main result being his "enforcer" John Havens has been appointed president and chief operating officer of Citigroup. This means Havens will assume the day to day management of the firm and answer directly to Uncle Vik. Other changes include James Forese being appointed chief executive officer of Securities and Banking and Citi Vice Chairman Ned Kelly is to become chairman of the ICG.

This is mainly a re-shuffling of resources already at the executive level. A lot of good talent has left or been sent packing from Citi and Uncle Vik is trying to placate private shareholders now that he is out from under the government's thumb so to speak. Uncle Vik has praised John Havens as one of the principle levers in the turnaround of the firm. My question is, what turnaround? The stock (C) is still hovering around the four and a half dollar mark and I personally have been waiting years for it to go anywhere close to where it once was when Citi was the venerable money making machine of the past.

Contrary to my take, Prince Alaweed of Saudi Arabia, a very prominent Citi private shareholder, praises Pandit for his work thus far.

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