Ex-Bank CEOs Pandit, Diamond Plan Alts. Firms

Feb 12 2013 | 2:58pm ET

Their unceremonious ousters still fresh in their minds, the former CEOs of two top banks are looking to the alternative investments industry to make their comeback.

Former Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit and former Barclays CEO Robert Diamond are mulling launching their own firms, the New York Post reports. Pandit, who founded and briefly ran a hedge fund before joining Citi in 2007, may start a private equity firm, while Diamond might launch a hedge fund.

Both men's plans remain in the very formative stages, according to the tabloid.

Diamond left Barclays under the cloud of an interest-rate rigging scandal that has marred the bank. With that apparently in mind, he's hired a public-relations chief, Sard Verbinnen & Co.'s Paul Verbinnen, in hopes of launching a hedge fund this year. Diamond, an American, might set up shop in New York after his years in London.

"Bob wants to come back to Wall Street and whether it is soon or in six months isn't clear," a source told the Post.

Pandit's return looks likely to involve a change of industry. The former Citi CEO, who left the bank in October amidst reports of disagreements with its chairman, may start a private equity firm, according to industry insiders cited by the Post. And he may be joined by John Havens, who served as Citi's president and led its alternative investments business and who left it alongside Pandit.

Pandit and Havens co-founded the hedge fund Old Lane Partners in 2006 after leaving Morgan Stanley. They sold it to Citi a year later for $800 million, when Citi installed Pandit as CEO-in-waiting. Citi shut the hedge fund down in 2008 after it suffered almost $15 billion in losses.


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