Vikram Pandit: A Profile

Published On: 21 Mar 2011

 | Last Updated On: 22 Mar 2011

Born on January 14, 1957, in Nagpur in India, Vikram Pandit is an Indian-born American CEO of Citigroup. He was declared the CEO in 2008, the youngest CEO ever of the world's largest conglomerate. 


Vikram completed his schooling at the Dadar Parsee Youths Assembly High School in Dadar, Mumbai. He moved to the United States when he was sixteen years old, to study at Gannon University. He received a B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering from Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Science in 1976 and 1977 respectively and an M.B.A in 1980 followed by a Ph.D. in Finance from Columbia Business School in 1986. His Thesis was entitled "Asset prices in a heterogeneous consumer economy".


Vikram Pandit was a professor at Indiana University (Bloomington). He joined Morgan Stanley as an associate in 1983, one of the first Indians to join the company. For the next two decades, Vikram Pandit worked for Morgan Stanley. Vikram Pandit was the managing director and head of the US Equity Syndicate for Morgan Stanley from the period 1990 to 1994. Then from 1994 till 2000, he worked as the managing director (MD) and head of the Worldwide Institutional Equities Division for the same firm. He was anointed the President and Chief Operating Officer (CEO) of the Institutional Securities and Investment Banking Group at Morgan Stanley and was in charge of the total operation of this group. Pandit looked after aspects like the trading, sales and infrastructure of the business from the year 2000 to 2005.


In 2005 and John Havens left Morgan to form a hedge fund named Old Lane, LP after being passed over by Philip J. Purcell. Citi bought the company in 2007 for $800 million bringing both Pandit and Havens into Citi leadership. On December 11, 2007, Pandit was named the new CEO of Citigroup, replacing interim-CEO Sir Winfried Bischoff, who became chairman of the board as well as remaining CEO of Citigroup Europe. Interim chairman Robert Rubin strongly supported Pandit, who is the effective successor to Chuck Prince. Prince resigned in November 2007 due to unexpectedly poor 3rd-quarter performance, mainly due to CDO- and MBS-related losses.


On February 11, 2009, Pandit testified to Congress that he had declared to his board of directors, "my salary should be $1 per year with no bonus until we return to profitability.", a salary at which he worked for two years.


Vikram Pandit is a part of the board of the Columbia University, Columbia Business School, the Indian School of Business and The Trinity School. He also serves as Director of Institute of International Finance(IIF). He also happens to be a former board member of NASDAQ, the New York City Investment Fund from the year 2000 till 2003. In 2008, Vikram Pandit was also given the coveted Padma Bhushan by the Government of India.

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