Citi’s Pandit gets a big raise: from $1 to $1.75 million

By Arun Kumar, IANS
Saturday, January 22, 2011

WASHINGTON - Vikram Pandit, the Indian American CEO of Citigroup Inc, is getting a big boost in his base salary from just $1 to $1.75 million after the bank reported the first profit for a year under his watch.

Pandit, 54, has led America’s third largest bank since December 2007 and oversaw its $45 billion bailout by taxpayers the next year. In February 2009, he pledged to lawmakers that he would take a salary of $1 until the firm returned to

profitability, and this week it reported a $10.6 billion profit for 2010.

Richard Parsons, chair of Citigroup Inc’s board, said the board is “very pleased” with the progress that the bank has made under Pandit’s leadership. In a regulatory filing Friday, Parsons said Pandit has “worked tirelessly to put Citi back on the right track.”

Shares of Citigroup, the third-largest US bank by assets, climbed 43 percent in 2010, and the US Treasury Department sold the last of its 27 percent stake in December, making a profit for taxpayers.

Under Pandit, the bank had losses of $29.3 billion for 2008 and 2009 combined, driving down its stock 89 percent during that period.

The company Thursday announced 2010 bonuses of almost $50 million for 15 other senior executives. Six of them, including newly promoted Chief Operating Officer John Havens, also shared “stock salary” last year worth more than $37 million on an annualised basis, according to a Sep. 24 filing. Pandit declined a bonus for the year.

Pandit joined Citigroup when it bought the hedge fund he co-founded with Havens and the bank’s Chief Risk Officer Brian Leach.

Pandit received $165 million, or $100 million after taxes, from the sale. He will receive the final payment from the sale in July, according to regulatory filings. He received a salary package in 2008 then valued at over $38 million, much of which was in stock and stock options.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at

Filed under: Economy

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