Pandit Leaves Citigroup Citing Transformation at Bank: Timeline

Vikram Pandit stepped down today as chief executive officer of Citigroup Inc., saying his team had completed a turnaround at the bank.

Below is a timeline of Pandit’s ascent to CEO, stewardship of the bank through the credit crisis and its struggles with the economy and regulators:

April 13, 2007: Citigroup agrees to buy Old Lane Partners LP, the hedge fund Pandit co-founded, for $800 million. Pandit becomes head of Citi Alternative Investments when the deal is completed.

Dec. 11, 2007: Citigroup announces Pandit’s appointment as CEO, replacing Charles “Chuck” Prince, who stepped down a month earlier as the lender disclosed mounting losses from soured mortgages. Each of Citigroup’s businesses will be scrutinized “objectively and dispassionately,” he says in an interview.

Jan. 15, 2008: Citigroup announces 4,200 job cuts after the bank posted a record fourth-quarter loss of $9.83 billion.

April 22, 2008: Citigroup is “closer to the end” than to the beginning of the credit crisis that saddled the bank with record losses, Pandit says at the annual shareholder meeting.

May 9, 2008: Pandit announces plans to divest about $400 billion of assets within the next three years, including real estate and collateralized debt obligations.

June 12, 2008: Pandit shuts down his Old Lane hedge fund, announcing plans for Citigroup to purchase most of the assets and allow client withdrawals.

Sept. 29, 2008: Citigroup agrees to buy the banking operations of Wachovia Corp. for about $2.2 billion in a transaction backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The deal doesn’t include Wachovia’s brokerage and mutual-fund businesses.

Oct. 3, 2008: Wells Fargo & Co. trumps Citigroup’s offer for Wachovia, agreeing to buy all of the lender’s businesses, sparking a legal battle between Citigroup and Wachovia.

Oct. 9, 2008: Citigroup abandons its attempt to buy Wachovia. FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, who threatened to put Wachovia in receivership if a merger agreement wasn’t signed, says Citigroup’s move brings “much needed” certainty to the process.

Oct. 29, 2008: Citigroup gets a $25 billion capital injection from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the U.S. Treasury Department says.

Nov. 23, 2008: Facing the threat of a breakup or sale amid a stock plunge, Citigroup receives U.S. government guarantees on $306 billion of loans and securities. The lender also gets a $20 billion cash infusion from Treasury.

Feb. 11, 2009: Pandit tells U.S. lawmakers he’ll take a salary of $1 and no bonus until the bank returns to profitability.

Feb. 27, 2009: The U.S. agrees to convert as much as $25 billion of its preferred stake in the company to common stock, diluting existing holders. Shares drop 39 percent.

March 5, 2009: Citigroup plunges below $1 in New York trading for the first time, leaving what was once the world’s most valuable bank ranked 184th by that measure.

Dec. 14, 2009: Citigroup owes the U.S. “a debt of gratitude,” Pandit says, as the firm reaches a deal to repay $20 billion to taxpayers.

Dec. 7, 2010: Treasury sells the last of its stake in Citigroup, turning a profit for taxpayers. The shares end the year up 43 percent after plunging 89 percent in the previous two years, when the bank recorded losses totaling $29.3 billion.

Jan. 21, 2011: Pandit gets a raise to a base salary of $1.75 million after the bank reported its first annual profit under his watch.

May 18, 2011: Pandit may collect at least $42 million under his new retention-pay formula, assuming the bank’s earnings meet analysts’ estimates, Citigroup says in a filing.

April 21, 2011: Pandit asks for “just a little bit of patience” on stock buybacks at the annual shareholders meeting.

March 8, 2012: Citigroup says it gave Pandit a pay package valued at $14.9 million for 2011, including the CEO’s first bonus since the lender almost collapsed in 2008.

March 13, 2012: Citigroup says the Federal Reserve rejected its plan to return capital to shareholders after the bank failed to meet some minimum standards in a stress test. Pandit had said he expected to be able to return capital to shareholders this year.

April 17, 2012: Citigroup shareholders reject the company’s executive pay plan amid criticism it lets Pandit collect millions of dollars in rewards too easily. Outgoing Chairman Richard Parsons pledges to understand investors’ concerns and then “fix it.”

June 9, 2012: Citigroup drops an effort to increase payouts to shareholders in 2012.

June 21, 2012: Citigroup’s credit rating is cut two levels to Baa2, two steps above junk, by Moody’s Investors Service. The bank says the ratings firm “fails to recognize Citi’s transformation.”

Sept. 11, 2012: Morgan Stanley agrees to buy the rest of its brokerage joint venture from Citigroup at a valuation about 40 percent less than Citigroup’s estimate of two months earlier. Citigroup says it will take a $2.9 billion third-quarter charge.

Oct. 16, 2012: “It’s hard to come up with things we should have done differently,” Pandit, 55, tells Bloomberg Television’s Erik Schatzker after stepping down. “The job was about transformation and turnaround, and we’ve done the turnaround.”

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