Amid the chaos that ensued from this summers mortgage meltdown - one man emerged as a potential savior for Citigroup. His name is Vikram Pandit - aka “The Brain.”
Some describe Pandit as a man with a keen analytical mind who’s driven by complex challenges. (He ran the biggest money making division at Morgan Stanley.)
Others say he was an odds on favorite to one day run Morgan, but Pandit decided to strike out on his own and start his own hedge fund - Old Lane Partners.
Less than a year after Old Lane's launch, Citigroup agreed to buy it for more than $800 million so they could get their hands Pandit - a man they hope can jazz Citigroup's higher-growth hedge fund business.
See - what you gotta understand, says Gasparino, is that Pandit's hiring is just another example of how Wall Street has placed a premium on individuals who understand the complex world of derivatives and structured products. People who can trade billions and still keep their wits.
But what will his value be at Citigroup should he ever rise to the top?
According to Charlie Gasparino, if Pandit takes the job, Citigroup should remain in tact.
However, if they go with NYSE CEO John Thain, Gasparino thinks Citigroup will likely be broken apart. That might be better for the stock in the near term, he says.
Next To Lead Citigroup Odds of Becoming CEO
Vikram Pandit Citi 2-1
(Citi Head of Investment Banking)
John Thain 2-1
(CEO, NYSE Euronext)