India-born Vikram Pandit is Citigroup’s new CEO

India-born Vikram Pandit is Citigroup’s new CEO

Washington: India-born Vikram Pandit has been appointed the Chief Executive Officer of Citigroup, the world’s largest financial services organisation, with immediate effect.

The appointment of 50-year-old Pandit, who has also been made a member of the Board of Directors, ended a weeks-long high level search for a new person to lead the New York-based banking giant after former CEO Charles Prince stepped down on 4 November following huge investment losses for Citigroup.

Acting CEO Sir Win Bischoff will succeed former US Treasury Secretary Robert E Rubin as company Chairman.

Rubin, who is considered close to Pandit and who strongly supported his candidature to the CEO’s post, will continue to serve the group as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board.

“Vikram has earned a reputation as one of the most respected leaders in the financial services industry. The combination of his deep executive experience and long history as a strategic thinker makes him the outstanding choice to be Citi’s CEO," Rubin said.

“The Board is unanimous in its conviction that, as part of a new generation of executives in this industry, Vikram is the right leader to build on the exceptional strengths of this great company and take the steps necessary to lead us forward," Rubin said in a statement.

Pandit, who was Citigroup’s investment banking head before his new appointment, also briefly headed a hedge fund called Old Lane earlier this year.

Pandit has also held a number of senior positions at Citigroup rival Morgan Stanley for more than two decades, including the post of President and Chief Operating Officer of the Institutional Securities Group, which included the company’s investment banking, fixed income and capital markets businesses.

After his appointment by Citi’s Board of Directors, Pandit said: “I am honoured to become Citi’s leader to drive the changes we need. Citi is an extraordinary institution with tremendous talent, resources and capabilities and geographic and business scope."

Pandit said his priorities will be to simplify the company’s organisational structure and “aligning our businesses and resources with appropriate goals and economic realities".

Pandit serves on the boards of Columbia University, Columbia Business School, India School of Business Hyderabad, India and the Trinity School (NY). He is a former board member of NASDAQ, New York City Investment Fund, American India Foundation and the Council on US Competitiveness.

He earned a Ph.D in Finance from Columbia University. He also holds a Master’s degree and a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Columbia University.

Citi has some 200 million customers in more than 100 countries, and provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, and wealth management.

Citi’s major brand names include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Smith Barney and Banamex.