Ex-Citigroup CFO Crittenden Joins Primerica’s Board

Gary Crittenden, who was Citigroup Inc.’s chief financial officer when it was bailed out by the U.S. government, joined the board of directors of Primerica Inc., an insurer once owned by the bank.

Crittenden, 60, has worked for private-equity firm HGGC LLC since leaving Citigroup in 2009, according to a statement yesterday from Primerica. Last year, he replaced co-founder Robert Gay as chief executive officer of the investment company, formerly known as Huntsman Gay Global Capital.

Citigroup started selling its stake in Primerica in 2010, two years after the bank almost collapsed amid losses tied to subprime mortgages. The Duluth, Georgia-based company, which sells insurance with about 90,000 mostly part-time representatives, has seen its stock more than double since then.

“I have been watching Primerica’s successes over the past few years,” Crittenden said in the statement. “I look forward to working with the rest of the board and senior management to find further opportunities to maximize stockholder value.”

Crittenden was “instrumental” in facilitating Primerica’s initial public offering, Mark Supic, a spokesman for the insurer, said in a phone interview. Primerica’s executives recognized his integrity and financial acumen during that time and are excited to add him to the board, Supic said.

Crittenden didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Housing Collapse

Soon after Crittenden joined Citigroup in 2007 from American Express Co., the bank’s stability was threatened by the collapse of the U.S. housing market. He agreed to pay $100,000 in 2010 to settle U.S. regulatory claims he misled investors by understating its “exposure” to subprime mortgages. Crittenden didn’t admit or deny the claims as part of the settlement.

The bank last year agreed to pay $590 million to a group of stockholders who sued. Arthur “Art” Williams, the former high school football coach who founded the company that’s now Primerica in 1977, also sued Citigroup over more than $800 million in alleged damages. Williams filed a lawsuit in 2010 against the bank and executives including Crittenden, saying he and his wife held on to Citigroup stock during the crisis due to the firm’s misrepresentations.

Attorneys for Citigroup and Crittenden have argued in court filings that the case should be dismissed because the plaintiffs haven’t adequately shown how alleged misstatements caused damages. Jacob Zamansky, a lawyer representing Williams, said in a phone interview that the case is still pending.

Prior to serving as CFO for American Express, Crittenden held that role at Monsanto Co. and Sears Roebuck & Co. Previously, he also worked for the consulting firm Bain & Co.

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