For a man who has done it before, it was easy for Mike O Neil to get down to real surgery at Citi with strategist and CEO MikeCorbat getting into the groove with asset sales after the mandatory pass for Capital adequacy and changing norms, now continuing with weaning out unprofitable segments. Citi of course, despite its rich history is relatively unecumbered by a Brand or a home with the Fed in being able to cutting jobs as a strategy having always put efficiency ahead of itother brand objectives even in its spread as the first successful Universal bank Brand especially in reach and success outside the US. HAving so long run as a nuts and bolts corporation, it comes easy to Citi that it slice and dice departments and jobs, 11000 jobs added to the kitty to increase profitability even as it rid of Travelers and Smith Barney ( very recently)
HSBC and BofA however have probably more far reaching programs nearer fruition in terms of job cuts realised into profitability and the International focus seems to be set to be sacrificed at Cit as well as it loses the strength to fight on multiple fronts. Of course the Universal Bank model is still asuccess in many ways but the regulatory jams one has to solve responsibly make it uneconomic for the bank and others like USB and Credit Suisse to stick to it in the new world with double digit profitability out of reach
Trading and Investment Banking finally loses sponsors at Citi after Pandit was asked to leave while costing only 1900 jobs at the division, saaving much more in compensation/people costs
Apparently, O’Neill who has also adopted bleeding strategies at another bank was not a very serious candidate just a few years ago, but his current strategies look almost like that of the same Citi stable that thrives on active management of balance sheet and understands the leverage from staffing in the current banking model and its multipier effect on profitability, going all the wyay in using efficiency measures to counter cultural and geographical obstruction to regular consistent profit.
That of course make the plot read like a cheap Jeffery Archer thriller more than you would wish as people at Legg Mason and Smith Barney would probably attest
- Analysis – The biggest struggle yet for Citi’s repairman(sfluxe.com)
- After Pandit, a smaller Citi could get smaller yet(kansascity.com)