City A.M. Reporter
British-born Citigroup trader Andrew Hall is fighting to hold on to a $100m (£61m) payout as the US government’s “pay tsar” prepares to cut Wall Street bonuses.<br /><br />The Obama administration’s head of financial services compensation, Kenneth Feinberg, will this week begin to study the pay of the top 25 earners in US banks. One White House spokesman has already called Hall’s pay “out of whack”.<br /><br />Hall already made more than $100m in 2008 by correctly predicting that oil would rise to record levels, reaching $147 per barrel in July 2008. This year Hall, through Citi’s Phibro trading unit, again made profitable bets on the price of gold.<br /><br />Phibro is one of Citi’s few success stories, providing the bulk of the bank’s $667m in sales from commodities in a year when the sprawling conglomerate lost $12bn last year.<br /><br />However, remuneration consultants say it will be hard to cut Hall’s pay because he has called markets correctly for a long period of time, making the bank money.<br /><br />A Citi spokesman said: “Citi is committed to rewarding employees for their contributions in a way that is competitive and which incentivises them based on the long-term profitability of the company.”<br /><br />Hall has reportedly offered to change his contract for 2010 onwards by taking more of his earnings in shares, rather than cash. But this year he wants his contract honoured.<br /><br />Hall is an Oxford-educated chemistry graduate who worked for BP before joining Phibro in 1982.<br /><br />He lives in a Connecticut mansion, but also owns a 1,000 year-old property near Hamburg called Schloss Dernberg, which has 150 rooms stuffed with neo-expressionist German art.