Newsmaker: Touchdown for Corbat after 30 years on Wall Street

Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:01pm EDT
 
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By Alex Chambers and Dan Wilchins

(Reuters) - Michael Corbat, Citigroup Inc's new chief executive, is a survivor.

In a three-decade career that started at Salomon Brothers, the former offensive lineman for Harvard has endured countless mergers and succeeded in coming out on top.

He has run multiple units at Citigroup that allowed him to get to know the bank's board of directors, including wealth management and Citi Holdings, where the bank put bad assets it was looking to shed.

But Corbat, 52, whose athletic build and eyeglasses have earned comparisons with Superman's alter ego, Clark Kent, among colleagues, has a tough job ahead.

He must now reshape Citigroup in a new financial order, pulling back from products and geographical areas that are seen as "non-core" and negotiate with banking regulators. Citi needed three government rescues to make it through the financial crisis of 2008.

In a memo to employees after the announcement on Tuesday, Corbat said he believed the bank was on the right path.

"However, the environment is a challenging and dynamic one. Regulatory, legislative and economic changes around the world present headwinds as we redefine our relationships with all of our stakeholders."

Some experts who know Corbat said they were convinced that his no-nonsense approach is well suited to the bank's next chapter.   Continued...

 
Newly named Citigroup Inc Chief Executive Michael Corbat, previously chief executive for Citigroup Inc Europe, Middle East and Africa, is shown in this undated handout image released on October 16, 2012. REUTERS/Citigroup Inc/Handout