Power Behind The Throne At Top Firm Said Ruthless In Cutting Back

Puppets

And this guy is said to be pulling the strings.

Reuters reports that Citi Chairman Michael O'Neill is effectively running the firm. He joined the Citigroup board in 2009, became chairman this year and has played an increasingly powerful role, as most vividly shown by his ousting of Vikram Pandit as chief executive in October, after months of tension.

O'Neill, who hand-picked new CEO Michael Corbat, has an uphill task ahead of him. Citigroup is groaning under $171bn of assets it wants to shed, has high expenses, and its profitability lags behind that of such competitors as JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N).

But Citi's Chairman is always a man with a plan, and dozen people who have worked with O'Neill over the years told Reuters that that plan usually involves the ruthless pruning of underperforming operations and deciding which ones are worth additional investment.

In the meantime, Bloomberg reports that O’Neill acquired $1m of the firm’s stock about a month after the ouster of CEO Vikram Pandit.

O’Neill, 66, purchased 28,200 shares through a trust at an average price of $35.52 each, the New York-based bank said Wednesday in a regulatory filing. He owned 59,513 shares after the transaction, including deferred stock tied to compensation, the filing shows.

The biggest struggle yet for Citi's repairman

O’Neill Acquires $1 Million of Citigroup Stock After Pandit Exit

image: © Melinda Seckington

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