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Citigroup Chairman and CEO Chuck Prince Shares Company’s Growth Strategy and Other Insights

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On September 25, students packed Schimmel Auditorium to hear Chuck Prince, Chairman and CEO of Citigroup, at Stern’s popular CEO Series. Mr. Prince, interviewed by Financial Times Senior Banking Editor David Wighton, shared how Citigroup has shifted from an acquisition to an organic growth strategy. So far this year, the company opened 100 retail bank branches in the United States and 398 branches overseas, a tremendous increase from years past.

During the interview, Mr. Prince cited candidly the public regulation issues that forced Citigroup to look inward and make some internal changes. Mr. Prince recognized that it was necessary to instill a strong corporate culture across all Citigroup divisions in more than 100 countries. Mr. Prince developed the company’s “shared responsibilities” and in 2005 implemented the “Five Point Plan” – a program that includes expanded training, increased compliance and controls, and balanced performance appraisals, all designed to help Citigroup achieves its goal to be the most respected global financial services company.

On managing an extremely large institution, Mr. Prince asserted that different times call for different types of leaders, and that today’s CEOs are leading in a very different regulatory environment. When hiring executives, Mr. Prince said that beyond being passionate and having a sense of ownership for one’s work, he looks for managers who can speak up if they don’t agree with a particular direction or decision – a “yes” person won’t add value to the organization.

Following the interview students asked Mr. Prince about his career, the company’s direction and emerging financial markets. A reception in Patron’s lobby followed the event.

Citigroup has a longstanding relationship with Stern. The Company was a founding member of Stern’s Corporate Partners program and is one of the top recruiters of Stern’s MBA and undergraduate students, with approximately 950 Stern alumni employed at Citigroup worldwide. Now in its fourth year, The Citigroup Foundation partnered with Stern to create the Leadership and Ethics Program, which enhances the School’s research, case development and the dissemination of knowledge in the field of business ethics.

View Mr. Prince’s CEO Series interview in its entirety