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Corbat reconsiders Citi’s global resources

Michael Corbat looked like a safe pair of hands when he took over from Vikram Pandit as Citi’s chief executive. Known as a details man, a leader and strong manager, he will execute the strategy Pandit first laid out. But overseeing the rundown of Citi Holdings has given him a taste for better deploying scarce resources. And every business in Citi’s renowned 100-country network, the bank’s defining differentiator, will have to justify itself to his scrutiny.

As the first anniversary fast approaches of Michael Corbat taking over as chief executive of Citi from the ousted Vikram Pandit, Euromoney sits down with this 30-year veteran of America’s most international bank and Jamie Forese, co-president of Citi and head of its institutional client group (the securities and investment banking division), for an update on their latest plans for continued restructuring.

Both men are at pains to say that their predecessors, Pandit and his old partner and colleague John Havens, who came in to run Citi’s securities and banking businesses at the end of 2007 and quit with him in October 2012, have set the bank on the right strategic course. Corbat tells Euromoney: "A lot of credit goes to Vikram, who identified the leading secular trends – urbanization, globalization and digitization – and quickly set about restructuring the bank against those trends, which included cutting $800 billion of assets from what was a $2.4 trillion balance sheet. We got out of sub-prime and de-emphasized consumer banking in Europe and brokerage in Japan. There’s now a decent earnings mix between 55% from north America and 45% from the rest of the world, and the balance feels about right between consumer and institutional.

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