It may be writing down billions and making thousands redundant, but there are still merits to having Citigroup on your CV.
Gigantism has its advantages. Last year the bank ranked fourth in Europe for M&A fees according to Thomson Financial, and third and fifth in EMEA for DCM and ECM respectively according to Dealogic.
“Citigroup isn’t like Bank of America or Bear Stearns, where you can identify obvious gaps in Europe,” says one headhunter (who works for them).
According to another headhunter (who doesn’t work for them), this ubiquity looks good on a résumé: “You will have seen the whole product spread and have a much more global focus than other people,” she says. “In most areas, you will also have seen a strong flow of deals.”
Forget the fact that Citigroup ranked 17th for M&A deals completed in the UK last year, investment banking headhunters claim the old Schroders franchise remains the place to be.
“The old Schroders business is phenomenal and has one of the deepest benches of talent in the City,” says one impartial headhunter.
“They did a fantastic job of integrating Schroders and held the business together very, very well,” says the head of another (equally unbiased) search firm.
As long as they don’t all leave after bonuses are paid later this month, working with these veteran dealmakers should earn you brownie points. Look out for the likes of David Wormsley, head of UK investment banking at Citi, fondly known as ‘the worm’.
Citi bankers can also find consolation in the fact that their esteemed employer is not alone in its pain: there’s always Merrill Lynch and UBS.
Shaun Springer, chief executive of search firm Napier Scott, says having Citi on your CV is no more ignominious than sporting the name of other ‘write-down houses’: “The Citigroup blowout isn’t down to a specific individual, it’s down to very senior management decisions to ‘keep dancing until the music stopped’.”
Employees may be casualties of this policy, “But it doesn’t by any means imply they are lesser people for it,” soothes Springer.