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Citigroup board to meet, mull CEO candidates

The board of Citigroup is scheduled to hold a two-day meeting this week as it weighs candidates, including Citi executive Vikram Pandit, to become chief executive.
/ Source: Reuters

The board of Citigroup Inc. is scheduled to hold a two-day meeting this week as it weighs candidates, including Citi executive Vikram Pandit, to become chief executive of the largest U.S. bank, a source familiar with situation said on Sunday.

The regularly scheduled board meeting will include a "full agenda" and a decision on the new CEO may not be made this week, the source said.

The review of the CEO candidates is just one of several issues to be weighed by the board at the meetings, which will be held on Monday and Tuesday, the source said.

Citi declined to comment.

Pandit, who heads Citi's trading, investment banking and alternative-investing units, has been among several people considered during the five-week CEO search, the source said.

Pandit joined in July, Citi purchased his hedge fund, Old Lane Partners LP, in a deal worth an estimated $800 million. Pandit previously served as institutional securities chief at Morgan Stanley , but left in 2005 after clashing with then-chief executive Philip Purcell.

The bank's former CEO, Charles Prince, resigned on November 4, when Citi said it might face up to $11 billion of subprime mortgage-linked write-downs in the fourth quarter.

If Pandit takes the CEO slot, several Citi insiders will vie for his current job, the source said. Michael Klein, chairman and co-CEO of Citigroup's investment bank, is among those eyeing that position, the source said. John Havens, head of the alternative-investments business, also could succeed Pandit, according to media reports.

Other CEO candidates include former Citigroup President Robert Willumstad, according to media reports. The Financial Times last week reported that Josef Ackermann, Chief Executive of Deutsche Bank AG, had rejected an approach from Citi about taking the CEO job.

Filling the CEO job is just one leadership issue facing Citi.

Robert Rubin, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner and U.S. Treasury secretary who chaired Citigroup's executive committee, was named chairman in November. Rubin has no interest in serving in that role longer than necessary, according to media reports.