Vikram Shankar Pandit is an Indian-American banker. He was the chief executive of Citigroup from December 2007 until 16 October 2012.
Childhood and training
Vikram Pandit was born in Maharashtra, India. He was born and raised in a wealthy Marathi Brahmin family. His father, Shankar B. Pandit, worked as executive director at Sarabhai Chemicals in Baroda.
Pandit was a student at Bishop Cotton School in Nagpur, and went on to the Dadar Parsee Youths Assembly High School in Dadar, Mumbai. At the age of sixteen, Pandit moved to the United States of America to enroll as an undergraduate student at Columbia University. In 1976, Pandit earned his B.S. degree in electrical engineering after just three years of study. He went on to obtain his M.S. in electrical engineering in 1977. Following this, Pandit continued studying business studies and finance, going on to obtain an MBA and PhD in finance from Columbia Business School in 1986. He published a thesis about a complicated financial puzzle, titled "Asset prices in a heterogeneous consumer economy."
Early career (1983–2005)
In the early years of his career, Vikram Pandit had a stint of teaching economics at Columbia, then was appointed a professor at Brock University in St. Catharines, Canada.
Vikram Pandit worked for Morgan Stanley as an associate in 1983, one of the first people of Indian descent to join the firm. In 1990, Vikram Pandit became the managing director and leader of the US Equity Syndicate unit of Morgan Stanley. He went on in 1994 to become managing director (MD) and leader of its worldwide Institutional securities division.
Vikram Pandit played a key role in building Morgan Stanley's electronic trading and prime brokerage division. By 2000, he had risen to the post of president and chief operating officer (COO) of Morgan Stanley's worldwide operations of the Institutional securities and Investment banking businesses.
After some twenty years with Morgan Stanley, Vikram Pandit decided to resign from the company in 2005, along with John Havens.
Career with Citigroup (2006 – 2012)
In 2006, Vikram Pandit and John Havens, along with Guru Ramakrishnan (former global chief of trading, technology and new products in the equities group at Morgan Stanley), founded a hedge fund named Old Lane LLC. Citi bought the firm in 2007 for $800 million, welcoming both Pandit and Havens into Citi’s executive management. Pandit was appointed chairman and CEO of Citi Alternative Investments (CAI) unit, and he subsequently headed Citi's Institutional Clients Group.
On 11 December 2007, Pandit was chosen as the new CEO of Citigroup. He was strongly supported by then interim chairman of Citigroup Robert Rubin. In 2009, Pandit testified to Congress that he had made a request to his board of directors that his salary should be only $1 a year until the company returned to profitability. He also issued an apology for letting the company consider completing the purchase of a private jet plane after receiving some $45 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds. His total compensation in 2009 was $128,751, with a base salary of $125,001 and other compensation of $3,750.