Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Citigroup still facing criticism by Mike Mayo

By Jim Kim Comment

Citigroup's (NYSE: C) grudgingly granted upcoming meeting with Mike Mayo is not making the respected analyst any more reticent about sharing views about the bank. It will apparently take much more than a meeting to do that.

Mayo, who will meet with CEO Vikram Pandit and CFO John Gerspach, was recently interviewed by FOX Business, which gave him plenty of air time to discuss his dispute. "You need a Jamie Dimon on steroids to run Citigroup," he told Fox. That's not really an insult, just a way of noting that Citi defies management in many ways.

But Mayo also noted that one objective measure of a CEO's success is how well the stock has done since he took the reins. By that measure, Pandit has not fared well.

Mayo noted some red flags, and even praised it for separating out a bad bank, getting rid of some board members and taking other positive steps. "But have they done enough? No," he said.

This is a time-worn issue for executives: How to deal with an analyst who goes public with negative views. We've said all along the company is much better off if it engages analysts and critics. It looks like Citi has come around to that view. But the damage to the relationship has been done. Mayo has been given a megaphone and the ill-will the bank fostered is not serving it well at all.

For more:

- here's the interview;

Related Articles:

Mike Mayo to meet Citi execs Oct. 1

More IR lessons from Citigroup-Mike Mayo battle

Update: Citi execs to meet with analyst Mike Mayo

Tide turning for Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit

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