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Yet Another Management Shuffle at Citigroup

Citi had more news today on another round of musical chairs in the executive suite. John Gerspach, the bank’s former chief accounting officer, will be the new chief financial officer—the bank’s 5th CFO in so many years.

Barclays Capital’s Jason Goldberg notes that on reflection of the troubled bank’s 2006 annual report, a whopping 60% of the very most senior executives, or 26 of 43, have left.

David Trone, an analyst at Fox-Pitt Kelton Cochran Caronia Waller, writes in a report that the moves “make a lot of sense” individually. But he adds that together they show CEO Vikram Pandit “is struggling to get the right team in place,” according to Bloomberg.

Gary Crittenden--former CFO and now head of the Citi Holdings division, who was lured from American Express and is a very highly respected numbers guy in financial services circles--also announced today that he is leaving the bank (truly for personal reasons). It's another major blow to the bank's reputation for retaining top talent so soon after Ajay Banga, a well regarded member of the consumer banking business, quit as Citi's CEO for its Asia Pacific business.

After less than four months in the CFO post, Ned Kelly is switching to a vice chair of Citi (a vague title, but one that carries a lot of weight) to focus on mergers and acquisitions and strategy. Kelly's new role will probably be more about divesting the bank of ancillary businesses in the effort to raise cash and shrink the balance sheet.

Another management shuffle makes Gene McQuade CEO of Citibank, the bank with the good assets. Barclay's Goldberg says that change will provide "something regulators have said C's management has lacked ... extensive banking experience."

Now that should come in handy.

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