A year ago, Citigroup Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat settled into an armchair at his Park Avenue headquarters in New York and discussed his plans to make the bank boring. Corbat, 54, a former Salomon Brothers managing director who took over as CEO in 2012, talked about avoiding controversy and grinding out results. 'If you use the words ‘boring’ and ‘banking’ in the same sentence', he said, 'I’ll take it'.
Bloomberg Businessweek reports that in the 12 months since that interview, Corbat has expanded businesses that are far from tame.
While rivals retrenched, he extended Citigroup’s reach into commodities and derivatives trading and kept a proprietary trading desk for government bonds. At the same time, he’s sold or plans to sell consumer units in 19 countries including Japan and Peru.
'They are moving their chips from global consumer to capital markets', says Art Wilmarth, a law professor at George Washington University who wrote a 2013 paper about Citigroup and the $500bn in funds and guarantees the bank got from the government during the financial crisis. 'That’s troubling because they’ve repeatedly gotten into enormous difficulties with these kinds of speculative trading operations'.
To access the complete Bloomberg Businessweek article hit the link below