Citigroup Looking To Hire Prominent Wall Street Exec Vikram Pandit, Report Says

Citigroup is looking to hire veteran Wall Street executive Vikram Pandit as head of its alternative investments unit and may buy his India oriented Old Lane LP hedge fund in a deal that could top $600 million to bring him

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Citigroup is looking to hire veteran Wall Street executive Vikram Pandit as head of its alternative-investments unit and may buy his India-oriented Old Lane LP hedge fund in a deal that could top $600 million to bring him aboard, according to a media report Sunday.

Pandit, who left Morgan Stanley in 2005 and formed Old Lane in 2006, is in talks with Citigroup, Inc, The Wall Street Journal reported in its online edition.

A Citigroup spokeswoman declined to comment, and Pandit and other Old Lane officials weren’t available for comment over the weekend, according to the report.

Citigroup’s alternative-investments unit is by far the company’s smallest, The Journal reported, with about 850 employees and $49.2 billion in assets under management. In 2006 it generated about $1.28 billion in net income, down from $1.44 billion in 2005, The Journal said.

Pandit’s hiring would bring one of Wall Street’s most prominent traders and business managers into Citigroup Chief Executive Charles Prince’s top management team, The Journal said, and would join a small circle of executives considered strong candidates to succeed Prince.

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