Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Vikram Pandit is new CEO of Citigroup

Vikram Pandit has been named CEO of Citigroup, the world`s largest bank, reports Economic Times.

In what many see as a crisis rescue mission, Pandit replaced Charles O. Pandit is the first person of Indian origin to scale such heights in the financial world, which has many well-regarded Indian executives.

Citigroup has operations in more than 100 countries, with 300,000 employees and USD 2 trillion in assets. Some reports had earlier pitched the CEO job as a toss-up between Pandit and former Pakistan prime minister Shaukat Aziz, but the latter, a former mid-level Citibank executive, was actually not even in the picture.

Before joining Citigroup, Pandit served as president and chief operating officer at Morgan Stanley from 2000 to 2005. He left Morgan Stanley, and in 2006, formed Old Lane Capital, a hedge-fund firm, that Citigroup acquired in April this year for USD 600 million.

Vikram Shankar Pandit, the son of a pharma representative and businessman, came to the United States when he was only 16 for undergraduate studies at Columbia. He earned a bachelor`s degree and a master`s degree in electrical engineering before switching to finance and earning a Ph.D.

Vikram will have to face mounting challenges at Citigroup. The bank has suffered staggering losses in recent times in the mortgage melt-down and other exposures. Shares of Citigroup dropped to below USD 30 for the first time in five years.

The situation was considered so dire that a USD 7.5 billion capital infusion by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority last month was seen as a bailout.

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