Citi trader's fight for $100m payout risks regulator's ire

ONE of Citigroup&rsquo;s top traders has put the bank on a collision course with US regulators by insisting that his $100m (&pound;61m) pay package is honoured. <br /><br />Andrew Hall, who heads Citi&rsquo;s secretive energy trading operation Phibro, is pressing the bank to make good on its commitment to award him the package for 2009, despite having received $45bn in government support.<br /><br />The case could spark a clash with President Obama&rsquo;s new pay tsar Kenneth Feinberg, appointed to supervise pay policy at the seven institutions which have received the most state aid.<br /><br />Hall&rsquo;s pay package, thought to be worth around $100m, is contractually linked to profits at Phibro, which is thought to have enjoyed a good start to the year.<br /><br />But with the US government&rsquo;s stake in Citigroup set to reach 34 per cent, Feinberg may try to use the government&rsquo;s power as the bank&rsquo;s largest shareholder to block the payment.<br /><br />Banks have until the middle of August to submit their pay plans to Feinberg, who will judge them based on the perceived balance between risk and reward.<br /><br />If the bank is pressured to reduce Hall&rsquo;s pay package, the trader could leave the company or launch a protracted legal battle to claim the reward.<br /><br />A spokesman for the bank said: &ldquo;Citi continues to examine ways to ensure its employee-compensation practices are competitive in this very challenging market environment.&rdquo;