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Take your pick: Merrill or Citigroup?

Both have ejected chief execs after making big losses. Both are left without any obvious bodies to man the tiller. Which would you rather work for?

Forget the fact that it’s writing down US$8bn to US$11bn (and maybe more) on sub-prime related products, Dick Bove, analyst at Punk Ziegel & Co. in the US, says the answer is clear: “There’s no question – I’d choose Citigroup.”

Bove says the big bank’s attractions are legion: “I’d get low priced options and it’s a bigger company with more diversified opportunities than Merrill. It has a wider range of products, a stronger capital base, and a better international name.”

By comparison, the implication is that Merrill is parochial and overly focused on the likes of corporate finance advisory, private client broking and risky areas of fixed income.

On the other hand, the broader-based Citigroup stands accused of dabbling in everything and succeeding at nothing. “Citi’s core problem, and Prince’s core failure, isn’t just the recent market losses. It’s also the conspicuous lack of successes elsewhere to compensate for them,” says the Wall Street Journal.

So which bank would you opt for? Or is now the time to steer heavily clear of both – given a broader choice Bove says he’d park himself over at JPMorgan, which appears to have navigated the credit crisis a lot more cleanly.

Comments (12)

  1. I would clearly stay away from Citi, ofcourse being an ex-citi guy myself, the choice is pretty certain!
    Clearly, going forward success will depend on being extremely strong in few areas, than dabbling in all areas. And, Merill fits this bill more than Citi. But, honestly I would work for neither!

  2. Having worked for Citi, I would not want to go back and certainly not go to Merill, it is too volatile a working environment, last in; first out. There are so many options to choose from with the big names on your CV, the world is your oyster…

  3. Merrill Lynch!

  4. Having worked in the banking sector (Citi, Lehmans & JPM) for several years, I am convinced none of them stand out as being truly great institutions to be working for. Morals, values, ethics?? Forget all that in these places. It’s just figures, figures & more figures. Everyone is indispensable. There is no job security. What I detest is when the banks profits slump, the “foot soldiers” are the first to be penalised by being fired; so much for loyalty & committment to their employees. They truly represent the dog eat dog” world. Not for me, thanks

  5. Merrills without a doubt! Citi have scale, but little else going for them whilst Merrills’ loses sit on top of a very strong, stable and secure base. They will easily bounce back, whilst Citi will drift and should be broken up.

  6. ah ah ah!!!
    None. It’s time to reduce the workforce to respect those who seriously and really work.
    Both Inv banks and retail ones have on their payrolls too many people. The city would produce more if 60% of the employees and contractors change jobs. Bonanza is over.

  7. Having worked for both stan and chuck at one point i would rather go back to merrill! More flexi at ML, Citi to focused on global financial domination!

  8. I will pick Merrill w/o a doubt. Citi is full of non Business graduates. Citi is just so easy to get in and work…not so proud to work there.

  9. They are both very large and bureaucratic organizations, both badly managed and with low flexibility. Between the two, I would choose ML. In general, I think they are some of the worst places for an employee.

  10. ML no doubt is total looser at Eastern Europe markets. But Citi has a great reputation there. Cash emerges from the East along with Sun. Never dreamed to work with Citi abut my bat is there.

    Ching his khan Reply
  11. I think that ML will cope with being a “looser” in Eastern Europe!

  12. they both suck

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