Friday, March 02, 2012

Citigroup Names O'Neill to Replace Parsons at US Third Largest Bank

Citi Names Michael O’Neill to Replace Parsons

By Donal Griffin - Mar 2, 2012

Citigroup Inc., the third-biggest U.S. bank by assets, named board member Michael O’Neill to be chairman to succeed Richard Parsons, who is stepping down after overseeing the company’s recovery from near-collapse in 2008.

O’Neill will take over after the firm’s shareholder meeting in April, New York-based Citigroup said today in a statement. Board members Alain Belda and Timothy Collins also will leave the panel, it said. Parsons, 63, spent 16 years on the board, becoming chairman in 2009 after the bank’s $45 billion bailout by U.S. taxpayers.

“Given the strong position that Citi is in today, I have concluded that the time has come for me to take my leave,” Parsons said in the statement. “I have complete confidence in the management team, the actions they have taken to strengthen Citi, and the course they have charted for the future.”

O’Neill inherits a board grappling with a slump in revenue, higher costs and new regulations as Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit pushes the firm into emerging markets. The bank has repaid the U.S. Treasury Department’s rescue, which generated a profit of about $12 billion for taxpayers. The firm posted total net income of $21.9 billion for 2010 and 2011, compared with $29.3 billion of losses for 2008 and 2009.

Parsons, who grew up in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, joined President Barack Obama’s advisory panel on jobs in February 2011. He is a senior adviser to Rhode Island- based Providence Equity Partners Inc., which specializes in buying media and telecommunications businesses.

Former Marine

O’Neill, 65, joined the board in 2009. He previously ran Bank of Hawaii Corp. and was a Bank of America Corp. (BAC) executive in the 1990s. In September, he was appointed chairman of Citibank NA, the lender’s primary banking subsidiary. He declined to comment in an e-mail.

O’Neill served in the U.S. Marine Corps before joining Continental Bank Corp., which later was bought by Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America.

At Citigroup, he heads a committee overseeing Citi Holdings, the unit that contains more than $200 billion of the bank’s unwanted assets. He’s also a member of the executive committee and the personnel and compensation committee, according to the company’s website.

O’Neill was appointed CEO of Barclays Plc (BARC) in February 1999. He resigned before taking the post after a bout with the flu led to complications from an irregular heartbeat, the London-based bank said at the time.

To contact the reporters on this story: Donal Griffin in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at

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