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People: A new division of responsibilities at Citi

John Havens takes over day-to-day running of the firm; Vikram Pandit concentrates on strategy

The timing couldn’t have been much worse. The news that John Havens, former head of Citi’s investment bank, the institutional client group, will take over the much bigger job of president and chief operating officer across the whole firm, came a day after the release of disappointing results from the division he had been running.

Lower revenues in fixed income and equities in the fourth quarter of 2010 than in the third quarter, as well as a $1 billion accounting charge resulting from improvements in Citi’s own credit spreads, meant that profits fell by 83% in securities and investment banking, from $1.378 billion for the third quarter of 2010 to $236 million for the fourth.

So one or two eyebrows were raised at Havens’ promotion into a clear number two role behind Citi chief executive Vikram Pandit. Havens will continue to oversee his old division while also now having Citi’s regional co-CEOs for Asia Pacific and Europe, Middle East and Africa report to him, as well as certain global staff functions such as administration, human resources and public policy. In the process, Havens takes oversight for areas of the bank with large consumer banking operations for the first time.

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