Citigroup’s Edward Kelly Retires as Investment Bank Chairman

Jun 21, 2014 12:01 am ET

June 21 (Bloomberg) -- Edward “Ned” Kelly, chairman of Citigroup Inc.’s institutional businesses, including the investment bank, is retiring and will be succeeded by Vice Chairman Stephen Volk.

Kelly, 61, told co-President Jamie Forese, who runs the businesses, about his intention to step down, Danielle Romero- Apsilos, a spokeswoman for New York-based Citigroup, said yesterday in an e-mail. Kelly will help with a transition before departing in coming weeks, she said.

Kelly was hired in 2008 by Vikram Pandit, then Citigroup’s chief executive officer, and joined the alternative investments unit. During his tenure, he worked on some of Citigroup’s biggest transactions, including the sale of the Smith Barney brokerage division. Kelly also served as chief financial officer for part of 2009.

Kelly was “on the road to retirement,” Jeff Harte, an analyst at Sandler O’Neill & Partners LP, said in a phone interview. “He did have a stabilizing role for the bank in the aftermath of the financial crisis.”

John Gerspach was named CFO in 2009 after Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. officials told then-Chairman Richard Parsons they were concerned Kelly lacked the proper credentials, people familiar with the matter said at the time. Sheila Bair, the former chair of the FDIC, described Kelly as “combative,” in her memoir of the financial crisis. Pandit was ousted in 2012 and replaced by Michael Corbat.

Senior Bankers

Volk, who was hired by former CEO Charles O. “Chuck” Prince, will advise clients and oversee a group of senior bankers, including Peter Orszag, Leon Kalvaria and Alberto Cribiore, Romero-Apsilos said. Volk, 78, joined Citigroup in 2004 from Credit Suisse First Boston, where he was chairman and known for advising on some of the largest media deals of the previous decade.

Citigroup’s institutional business posted a first-quarter profit of $2.94 billion, a 3 percent drop from a year earlier.

Kelly didn’t immediately respond to phone and e-mail messages seeking comment on his retirement. The Financial Times reported yesterday on Kelly’s planned departure.