Citi exec enjoys $9m salary

CITIGROUP’s head of investment banking took home more than $9m (£5.6m) in 2009, less than a year after the firm received taxpayer bailouts to the tune of $45bn.

John Havens was given 2.7m shares of Citigroup stock at the end of December. Based on the company’s share price at the time, the shares – which Havens cannot sell immediately – were worth $9m. He is also said to have been paid a cash salary of less than $500,000.

The news will generate unwelcome attention for Citigroup, which has been conscious of the sensitivity surrounding remuneration since it was thrown a state lifeline at the height of the financial crisis. Chief executive Vikram Pandit has vowed to take a total pay package of $1 a year until the bank returns to consistent profitability, a feat it has yet to achieve.

Citigroup repaid $20bn of government funding last month. However, it still owes $25bn injected as part of the broader US banking industry bailout. The government remains its largest shareholder at 27 per cent.

The Obama administration’s pay tsar, Kenneth Feinberg, reviewed the structure but not the level of Haven’s remuneration because the securities boss was not among the 20 highest-paid executives at Citigroup at the time of the review last year, it is understood.

According to estimates, Haven’s 2009 pay package now makes him the top-earning employee at the institution. The second highest-salaried executive is thought to be Manuel Medina Mora with $8.5m.

A spokesperson for Citigroup declined to comment.


• The US government put $45bn into the bank in 2008. It also insured $306bn of toxic assets.
• Havens’ payout is dwarferd by the $100m Citigroup handed to star energy trader Andrew Hall in 2008. Hall’s unit has since been sold.