Citi CEO Vikram Pandit reportedly told his board yesterday that he was promoting John Havens, who headed up the bank’s institutional clients group for the past three years, to COO and President, according to the WSJ.
Both posts are vacant, and the promotion is supposed to allow Pandit to focus less on front office issues and more on growing the business.
Havens is a longtime buddy of Pandit and reportedly one of his closest confidantes, having worked together for 25 years, beginning as colleagues at Morgan Stanley’s securities business back in the day.
At Citigroup, they often sit next to each other at meetings, passing handwritten notes back and forth. Citigroup insiders refer to the men, along with Don Callahan, the chief administrative officer, as “the threesome.”
The move says nothing about a succession plan since apparently Pandit and Havens are “considered a team” and the COO would probably leave if Pandit did.
Havens is one of the highest paid employees at the bank, and in 2009 was the highest, pulling in $9 million.
This is in spite of his division’s less than stellar performance since the ecoonomic crisis began; in fact, since 2007, Citi has dropped from No. 1 to No. 6 in global securities underwriting, and in Q4, revenue for the securities and banking unit fell 17%, according to the WSJ.
When Pandit tapped Havens to lead the i-bank in 2008, it was apparently met with some resistance. Havens had “a controversial tenure at the alternative investment group” and employees in that unit said his
“management style is abrasive and noncommunicative.”
Both Pandit and Havens, who’s a Harvard grad, left Morgan Stanley in 2005. They both entered the Citi doors when the bank bought a hedge fund that the two friends had started, Old Lane LP, for $800 million in 2007.
Also the reshuffling has resulted in the number of execs that report directly to Pandit, being halved.
Co-head of Global Markets James Forese will take more control of the institutional business to make up for Haven’s departure.