New York, Dec 12 (UNI) Vikram Pandit, a 50-year-old senior employee at Citigroup who hails from Maharashtra, has been named the Chief Executive Officer of the world's largest financial services company.
The announcement, made yesterday, ended weeks of speculation about who would succeed Charles Prince as the CEO at Citigroup, which has a longtime presence in India.
The company has more than 300,000 employees, 200 million consumer accounts in 100 countries and more than 2.4 trillion dollars in assets under management.
The announcement would become effective immediately.
Sir Win Bischoff, who has been acting CEO since November 4, 2007, (when Prince quit) will succeed Chairman Robert E Rubin, who will return to his previous duties as a member of the Citigroup Board of Directors and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board.
Mr Rubin said, ''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 an outstanding choice to be Citi's CEO.'' Mr 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. Our challenge is to capitalise on these strengths to deliver the high-quality service and products our clients require and to generate the superior returns our shareholders expect.'' I will work closely with Win, Bob and Citi's Board and management to assure that our strategy, structure, scale and diversification position the company for growth. Simplifying the company's organisational structure and aligning our businesses and resources with appropriate goals and economic realities will be among our initial priorities, he added.
He has beaten out several candidates, including fellow Indian-American Ajay Banga, who runs Citi's international consumer banking group.
Mr Pandit's career includes leading capital and banking markets at Morgan Stanley. The Nagpur native quit Morgan Stanley in April 2005.
After leaving Morgan Stanley, he formed Old Lane Capital, a hedge fund, acquired later by Citigroup in April 2007 for 600 million dollars.
He is the son of medical representative. He arrived in the US as a teenager to study at Columbia University in New York. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering. But he later switched to finance in which he earned a doctorate.
Citigroup is not doing well financially in recent years. Its stock fell 4.2 per cent to 33.30 dollars at the close of trading yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange.