Who killed Citi's hedge funds?

Mon Sep 29, 2008

A culture of chaos, incompetence and rivalrous fiefdoms is more to blame than any single individual.

By Josh Friedlander

When a team of Citigroup's Tribeca traders entered their office at 399 Park Avenue one Sunday night in the spring of 2005 to prepare for the opening of the Asian markets, they could hardly have been prepared for what awaited them. The traders powered up their computers, began reading the latest market research and picked up their phones to dial abroad. And then they discovered that they couldn't. The calls wouldn't go through. Citigroup, they later discovered, had applied a cost-cutting measure to cancel international dialing for the group. Another time, the traders found that Citi had outsourced their evening tech support. "We called up and got a voice message telling us someone would get back to us within 48 hours," says one trader.

From left: Tanya Beder, Dean Barr, Vikram Pandit, Sanford Weill, Michael Carpenter

Such basic incompetence is a window into Citi's chaotic, and ultimately...

ISSN: 2151-1845 / CDC10004H


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