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Citigroup is nothing to be ashamed of

It may be writing down billions and making thousands redundant, but there are still merits to having Citigroup on your CV.

Size

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.”

Schroders

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’.

Universal suffering

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.

Comments (25)

Comments
  1. Given Citi/Citigroup has 52 jobs advertised on this site, is the article and the editorial stance completely impartial?

  2. its a poorly run firm. never work there and if you’re living the misfortune of working there, leave now. i can say this as someone who was well paid by Citi and who has since left and seen much brighter pastures. Oh and deal flow – as long as you work in a global IB you’ll see the deal flow.

  3. CITIGROUP is a company to be proud of. The title of this article does not go with the situation nor with the company at all.

  4. Also, stop doing down Merrills. You talk as if they are finished as a Tier 1 house, but despite a major setback they are still one of the forces to be reckoned with – not like UBS who have to do some serious rethinking. Just wait until Thain has finished pruning and starts hiring again, then these headhunters will change their tune!

  5. Citigroup is very unprofessional. I’m a veteran and let me tell you its a bucketshop at best. And Schroders is a chip shop.

    Mr. Brownstone Reply
     
  6. Having spent 7 years in Citigroup and working now for one of the biggest European Bank, I can say that Citigroup is really a great company, with incomparable culture and global successful business practices. Work for Citigroup is highly recommendable experience for everyone.

  7. I have been working there and was surprised the company has no stationery. I was as well awarded with a very old screen which was taking much of the space on my desk. This company thinks a bit like my father: spend less to save money.

  8. Like Dylan said, ‘Dont speak too soon, the wheel’s still in spin’
    Vikram Pandit has a good record for disciplined impartial decision making and you could see a slow but sure recovery. Still, it’s going to take months of keeping the ear to the ground to take a call.

  9. Citigroup is definitely a great place to work. I started my career at Citi and left after over seven years. I can definitely say that the wealth of experience in Citi is unmatched in my new firm. CERTAILY NOT.

  10. Yes I definitely want Citi on my CV.. once I am out of there. It’s a big like trying to drive a supertanker – big and unwieldy..

  11. The people I know working at Citi, and providing research to my hedge fund are top notch. Very commercial and with solid fundamental views. I value their input greatly and other banks would be lucky to have them. It is not their fault that capital has been misallocated by senior management.

  12. Citi tends to employ jobsworths and drones. Too long spent at Citi and chances are you will be highly unemployable.

  13. Citibank has a culture of back stabbing, secrecy, HR supporting the highest level manager trying to oust someone regardless of ethics or situation, and LOW PAY. Attitude is, they are grunt workers or just replacable heads. Finally, Citi doesnt always follow standard grievance procedures. ps I worked there for 4 years at a sr level

  14. “Impartial headhunter” – contradiction in terms?

  15. When will Citigroup start their operations in West Africa preferably Ghana. I can’t wait to join the company.

    Michael Gbadago Reply
     
  16. Michael, i think there’s a McDonald’s in Ghana.

  17. Working culture is bad, Pay is bad, no professionalism, management is poor, layers and layers of hierarchy, unending bureacracy, unecessary managers wasting time and resources,
    lack of control,daily restructurings, unresponsive people with lots of silos. I fully agree with Dave’s view. Having worked there for 7 years, I can’t wait to get out.

  18. too many managers doing absolutely nothing. credit risk management has been a joke for the past several years. little wonder about the scale of losses. nasty place to work. glad i got out when i did

  19. Most of the incompetent lot that drove citibank to its knees in the early 90’s still there…they will drive it back to bankruptcy, if alwaleed spent 1 week working there he would liquidate his stock immediately.

  20. yeah the whole credit set-up was a joke there..

  21. not an equal opportunities employer.

  22. Yes..Citi is definetly a great place to work. The amount of experience and knowledge one gains from Citigroup is simply amazing. Citi rocks

  23. Absolutely true

  24. Citi is a joke. Perhaps the worst run bank on the street after Bear.

  25. Worked at Citi in NY, HK and London. Agree with most of the comments here regarding obvious disadvantages of a huge global firm e.g. bureacracy, jobsworth managers etc. but in my experience I have found these similar qualities to both a greater and lesser extent in many BBs. Article hits the nail on the head though, as a junior banker what should matter to you is deal experience and with its global platform and strong dealflow Citi (along with the other big houses) still offers this. If you are trying to choose a firm to begin your career at, this is what you should focus on, as ultimately “culture” depends far more on the team you work for than the bank as a whole! Highly recommend Citi Europe – Schroders influence still very strong across many of the teams and demand from PE/VC/HF/Industry for ex Citi bankers remains high.

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