They say the Citi never sleeps, but it was caught napping this year. Financial giant Citigroup landed in major trouble when it ran into problems over billions of dollars in bad loans spawned by sub-prime lending to borrowers with poor credit records. Troubled Citi's knight in shining armour could be 50-year-old Vikram Shankar Pandit, its new chief executive officer who was born in Nagpur into a simple, middle-class Brahmin family.
Pandit, a Ph.D in finance, rose to prominence as a savvy investment banker and electronic trading wizard in Morgan Stanley, where he just missed being CEO after two decades in the reputed Wall Street firm. He was President and Chief Operating Officer of the Institutional Securities and Investment Banking Group at Morgan Stanley when he left with some of his colleagues in 2005 to found Old Lane Partners, a hedge fund that Citigroup acquired earlier this year for an estimated $600 million, thanks mainly to Pandit's experience and brainpower.
Months later, on December 11, Pandit was named successor to Charles "Chuck" Prince, who resigned a month earlier following Citigroup's unexpectedly poor quarterly financial performance.
While Pandit comes from a simple-living family - his father stays in a modest flat in Navi Mumbai - he also made news when he bought a 10-bedroom apartment overlooking New York's Central Park for $18 million.