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John Havens: Citigroup Chief Of Investment Banking Is Bank's Highest-Paid Employee, Got $9 Million In '09

Citigroup Havens

First Posted: 03/18/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 04:05 PM ET

Meet John Havens, Citigroup's highest-paid employee.

The bank's head of investment banking took home a pay package worth $9 million in 2009, according to a Wall Street Journal report this morning.

Havens's pay was apparently not vetted by Obama's pay czar Kenneth Feinberg, the WSJ reported, because he was not among the bank's 20 highest-paid employees during the time of review. Previously, the most notable big earner at Citigroup was Andrew Hall, the head of the wildly profitable Phibro trading unit. Last fall, Citigroup sold Phibro -- a move that many believe was fueled by concerns surrounding Hall's gaudy $100 million pay package. The company was sold for just $250 million.

Here's the WSJ:

Mr. Havens's pay package consisted primarily of 2.7 million shares of Citigroup stock, which he received Dec. 30, according to a regulatory filing. Those shares, which Mr. Havens is restricted from selling immediately, accounted for his entire bonus and a portion of his salary.


The shares were worth $8.97 million based on Citigroup's $3.32 share price on Dec. 30. The shares closed Tuesday at $3.53, up 13 cents, or 3.8%.


Mr. Havens, a confidant of Citigroup Chief Executive Vikram Pandit, also received a cash salary, but Citigroup hasn't disclosed the amount. The person familiar with the matter said it was less than $500,000.

Havens is reportedly a longtime pal of Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit - so close, in fact, that they were fond of passing handwritten notes during meetings. Here's how the WSJ described Havens's promotion to head Citi's invesment banking unit:

Havens spent nearly two decades with Pandit at Morgan Stanley and is one of his closest confidantes. At Citigroup, they often sit next to each other at meetings, passing handwritten notes back and forth. Citigroup insiders refer to the men, along with Don Callahan, the chief administrative officer, as "the threesome."


The move by Pandit could have ripple effects throughout the bank. Havens has had a controversial tenure at the alternative investment group, and his promotion to run the investment bank could lead to other personnel changes.


Employees in the alternatives group, which includes Citigroup's private-equity and hedge funds, say Havens' management style is abrasive and noncommunicative. They say he deserves some blame for the problems encountered by several of Citigroup's hedge funds.

For his part, Citi CEO Vikram Pandit has pledged to take only a $1 salary and no bonus until the bank returns to profitability. Citigroup lost $529 million last quarter.

Check out Citi's latest regulator filing here.



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Filed by Ryan McCarthy  |