Poor Vikram Pandit! He’s been on the Citigroup throne for only a few hours, and already everyone is raining on his parade. “There was some hope that somebody with a bigger name would be chosen, so maybe from that perspective there is some disappointment,” Lee Delaporte, director of research at Dreman Value Management, told Reuters. Business Week, along with everyone else, took it upon themselves to elucidate just how much this job sucks, and CNN called his résumé “flimsy.” Well, at the very least, they know he’s not going to pull a Jimmy Cayne. “I don’t play golf. Period,” Pandit told New York in 2002. “I’m sure I’d enjoy it, but I just never got good at it.” But what do we really know about Vikram Pandit? After the jump, the salient facts of the 50-year-old CEO’s life.
1957: Born in Nagpur, India.
1973: Moves to New York and enrolls at Columbia, where he gets a degree in electrical engineering, followed by a master’s and Ph.D. in finance.
1983–2004: Goes to work at Morgan Stanley, where he designs trading systems that cut transaction costs in half. “What attracted me to the industry was that this was a business that could be interesting and a lot of fun. But to do well, you have to put a lot of yourself into it,” he told New York. “I have to admit there is a sense of accomplishment that comes along with it.”
1986: Partially solves an unsolvable asset-pricing problem for his Ph.D. dissertation.
2003: Named to Columbia Board of Trustees.
April 2006: Founds Old Lane hedge fund.
July 2007: Only thirteen months later, sells Old Lane hedge fund to Citigroup for $800 million. Let that sink in for a second: Eight hundred. Million. Dollars.
October 2007: Hired as head of Citigroup investment banking, trading, and alternative investments.
September 2007: Purchases Tony Randall’s ginormous apartment in Central Park West’s Beresford building for $17.9 million. Pocket change!
December 2007: Named CEO of Citigroup, described by Reuters as “a sprawling mess.”