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Citi names hedge fund principal to head institutional clients group

Vikram Pandit, who joined Citi earlier this year with the acquisition of his Old Lane alternative fund business, has been appointed head of a new group embracing investment banking as well as alternative investments.

The reorganisation has been seemingly prompted by the bank's losses stemming from the US sub-prime mortgage meltdown. The previous week Citi announced a USD5.9bn write-down for the third-quarter, mainly as a result of the flight from liquidity and falling prices of asset-backed securities.

Pandit, 50, has become chairman and chief executive of the newly-formed Institutional Clients Group comprising Citi Markets & Banking and Citi Alternative Investments. He will continue to report to the office of the chairman and remains chairman of Citi Alternative Investments as well as a member of Citi's business heads, operating and management committees.

Pandit was a founding member and chairman of the members committee of Old Lane, a multi-strategy hedge fund and private equity manager that was acquired by Citi in April. Previously he was president and chief operating officer of Morgan Stanley's institutional securities and investment banking business and a member of the firm's management committee.

Michael Klein remains chairman and co-chief executive of Citi's markets & banking business and a member of the business heads, operating and management committees. Since joining Salomon Brothers in 1985, Klein has held various positions throughout the company, including chief executive of global banking and chief executive for markets & banking in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

James Forese, a 22-year veteran of the company, has been named co-chief executive of Citi Markets & Banking, having led the global equities division for the last four years, and remains a member of the operating and management committees. Previously, he held senior positions in fixed income in New York and in London.

John Havens has been named president and chief executive of Citi Alternative Investments, while Guru Ramakrishnan remains president and chief executive of Old Lane, and both members of the management committee.

'This new operating structure will enable us to continue to use our capital actively but in a more efficient way, keep moving towards higher margin businesses, continue to diversify our sources of business, and employ world class talent that has a relentless focus on serving our clients,' says Citi chairman and chief executive Charles Prince. 'We have made substantial progress towards these goals. Vikram Pandit is the right person to lead our effort to accelerate that progress.'

Thomas G. Maheras, who previously shared leadership of the investment banking business with Klein, is leaving Citi following the reorganisation and a review of the bank's fixed-income trading operations.

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