Michael Corbat has promised some changes at Citi. This is what you need to know (updated)
As you will almost certainly now know, Vikram Pandit is no longer CEO of Citigroup. He has been replaced by Michael Corbat, a steady but allegedly bland and personable Citigroup lifer who joined the bank fresh from Harvard in 1983 and has been there ever since.
As we reported earlier, the Financial Services Authority's register in the U.K. shows that Corbat’s been registered in London since 2005. He became chief executive of Citi’s EMEA business in January 2012. In February, he immediately set about a ‘major reorganisation’ of the European business, in which he split the business into four major regions: western Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central & Eastern Europe. Since then, headhunters in London say there have been some cuts, but nothing dramatic. 198 FSA Approved persons have left Citi this year, which is in line with other banks.
Who should you watch out for?
Pandit wasn’t the only man who went today. John Havens, Pandit’s chief operating officer and number two, departed along with him. Chief Risk Officer Brian Leach, another Pandit man, is also said to be at risk of going.
Given the importance of Europe to Citi’s investment banking business, many of its senior bankers are based in London. According to recruiters we talked to, Corbat's key players in EMEA include:
Recorder is head of Citi’s EMEA markets business. Promoted in February 2012, he looks a lot like Corbat’s man. Recorder's been at Citi since 2001. He was previously head of sales and could be a key player in any restructuring.
Global head of rates, based in London. Citi cited rates as one of the reasons it performed so strongly in fixed income sales and trading over the past quarter. Morton was appointed in 2008 (he was previously global head of fixed income at Lehman) and is seen as having significantly improved Citi’s rates performance. He should be in a strong position.
Ybarra head of global markets at Citi. He joined the bank in 1987 and moved to London in 2007. He was made sole head of the markets business in 2011.
Citi’s markets business didn’t perform too well last year. Yesterday’s results, however, were outstanding. Citi increased its equities markets revenues by 76% and its FICC revenues by 63% year on year in the third quarter. Doubts about Ybarra’s business may have been assuaged (although it can be argued that the third quarter of 2012 was only good because its comparator quarter in 2011 was so atrocious).
Derek Bandeen and his ex-Morgan Stanley equities colleagues
Bandeen is the London-based global head of Citigroup’s equities business. He is Pandit's man - having worked with Vikram previously at Morgan Stanley and been hired by Pandit in April 2008 to run equities. For this reason, headhunters say Bandeen looks vulnerable. So do the likes of Stefanos Bitzakidis and Rachel Lord, both of whom were hired by Pandit and Bandeen from Morgan Stanley in 2009 on allegedly large guaranteed bonuses. Bitzakidis is currently global head of exotics trading. Lord is global head of corporate equity derivatives.
As we’ve noted before, serious questions have hung over headcount in this business in London after Citi hired 152 people and increased headcount more than 100% at a time when the market was shrinking. Last year Citi's equities trading revenues fell 21% - more than any rival bank, after problems in its equity derivatives business.
This year, Bandeen has been busy overhauling equities at Citigroup. The strong third quarter should have bought him some time, but without Pandit to protect him and the rest of the ex-Morgan Stanley clique, Bandeen looks more exposed. "There have been rumours that Citi is going to overhaul equities for some time and this might be the perfect opportunity to do so," says one headhunter.
Manuel Falco and James Bardric
Falco and Bardrick run Citi’s European investment banking businesses. The two men were promoted as co-heads in 2009.
Citi’s ECM and DCM businesses globally had a good third quarter, with revenues rising 34% and 32% year-on-year. However, for the first nine months as a whole Citi’s ECM revenues were down 20%. Unless deals pick up soon, Corbat could push Falco and Baldrick to make some tough decisions about staffing in its European equity capital markets business, where headhunters suggest it remains overweight in staffing terms compared to rivals.