Citi’s Pandit made $10.8 mn in 2008

March 17th, 2009 - 10:16 am ICT by IANS  

By Arun Kumar
Washington, March 17 (IANS) Vikarm Pandit, the Indian American CEO of Citigroup, received a 2008 compensation valued at $10.8 million, the ailing bank that got billions of dollars in federal aid has disclosed.

New York-based Citi disclosed in a regulatory filing Monday that Pandit, who said late last year he plans to take just $1 a year in salary until the bank returns to profitability, received $958,333 in salary last year, up from the $250,000 he received in 2007. Pandit did not receive a cash bonus, however.

Like many other banks that have received taxpayer funding, Citi has come under fire for its spending on executive compensation and other perks.

But since Citi took its first round of exceptional federal aid last November, the bank has been trying to show it’s being more responsible.

The lion’s share of Pandit’s overall compensation comes from the one million restricted shares and three million stock options Citi granted Pandit on Jan 22, 2008, as a signing bonus and special retention award following his December 2007 appointment as CEO.

Pandit joined Citi in July 2007 after the company purchased the Old Lane hedge fund he had started up after departing Morgan Stanley.

Last year’s compensation largely reflects stock and option grants whose value has plunged along with Citi’s shares. The company granted Pandit stock and stock options worth $37.2 million in January 2008, reflecting his signing bonus and a special 2008 retention bonus.

But with Citi shares having fallen more than 90 percent since then, the current value of the awards - which vest over periods as long as 10 years - is just $1.8 million, Citi said.

Pandit’s investment in Old Lane has fared somewhat better. When Citi bought the fund, Pandit and a co-founder each received $165 million in pre-tax payments for their partnership interests. They agreed to invest those proceeds-amounting to around $100 million each after taxes - in the fund.

But like so many hedge funds, Old Lane was hit last year by redemption requests, prompting Citi to shut it down last summer. Pandit received distributions of $79.7 million after the fund was closed.

That means Pandit took a 20 percent loss on his holdings in Old Lane - a far better showing than the 53 percent thumping Citi common shareholders took over the same period.

The bank also announced changes to its board and nominated four new independent directors following the latest bailout of the bank, which could raise government’s stake to as much as 36 percent of Citi.

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