Phibro Chief Seeks ‘Quiet Divorce’ From Citi

Aug 3 2009 | 2:01pm ET

The head of Citigroup’s hugely profitable proprietary commodity-trading desk, his $100 million bonus in doubt, wants out.

Andrew Hall, the head of Phibro, is pushing for “a quiet divorce” from Citigroup, The New York Times reports. Hall is reportedly worried about becoming the poster-boy for irresponsible bonus-giving on Wall Street. The $100 million bonus is guaranteed in Hall’s contract with Citi.

What’s more, Hall has already had talks with another possible employer, despite the fact that Citigroup, which needed tens of billions in government bailout money to stay afloat, is confident that the U.S. Treasury Dept.’s pay czar will approve Hall’s massive payout.

“We’re confident in the value these types of profit-sharing arrangements bring to the company and its shareholders, as they directly align compensation with performance,” James Forese, co-head of global markets at Citi, told the Times. Phibro has netted the firm some $2 billion over the past five years.

The Times report is not the first of trouble in the Citi-Phibro relationship. In April, it emerged that the firm was considering a spin-off of Phibro as an independent hedge fund or opening it up to outside investors.

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