Citigroup Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit addresses compensation issues
Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citigroup (C), sent the following memo to employees on Mar. 20, 2009. The memo was distributed to the media by the company.
To: All Citi Colleagues
From: Vikram Pandit
Date: March 20, 2009
Re: Washington Update
Our industry has recently seen a tide of negative sentiment rising in Washington, D.C., regarding compensation. Of course, some of it is warranted. But I take exception when there is a discussion about spreading the blame to each and every employee in the financial services industry. At our company, we removed the people responsible for Citi's financial distress and acted fast to strengthen and streamline the business, and install new risk processes and new risk personnel. You have been invaluable in our collective efforts to put the company on solid footing.
The work we have all done to try to stabilize the financial system and to get this economy moving again would be significantly set back if we lose our talented people because Congress imposes a special tax on financial services employees. It would affect countless number of people who will find it difficult, if not impossible, to pay back the bonuses that they earned.
I want you to know that we are working in every appropriate way with policymakers in Washington, and with other financial institutions and industry associations, to come to agreement on a constructive industry compensation system that is good for the company, the financial system, and the country. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure that we can pay our employees fairly, reflecting their market value and hard work, especially during these challenging times.
I know it is difficult, but no matter what happens in Washington our prospects will be best served if we all continue to work hard helping clients and customers around the world and improving the performance of the business and speeding our return to profitability.
So while you continue to focus on our clients and quality execution, please rest assured that senior management and experts in Washington are focused on these developments and trying to address issues raised in the debate with clarity about the real facts.
Thank you for your unwavering commitment and dedication.