Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Vikram Pandit calls him a valuable leader and trusted adviser. Chairman Richard Parsons calls him a rare breed of banker. But after 53 years with Citi, perhaps the best description for William R. Rhodes is indefatigable.
Never mind the fact that Rhodes is leaving Citi at the end of this month. Even in retirement, Rhodes, who joined Citibank in 1957 after graduating from Brown University and currently serves as senior vice chairman, plans to remain a senior advisor to Pandit, who briefly summed up Rhodes' accomplishments in a news release circulated on Wednesday.
He credited Rhodes with helping Citi recover from dual shocks — the less-developed country debt crisis in the early '80s and the Asian financial crisis in the late '90s — as well as leading Citi's expansion into Eastern Europe and China, and re-opening its South Africa office. "His service has earned him recognition and decorations from around the world for his international financial diplomacy," Pandit said.
A Banking Machine?
Handling economic development matters is one of the more political jobs at a bank. So when Harris Bancorp needed to replace Yasmin Bates, executive vice-president for community affairs, it turned to a graduate of Mayor Richard Daley's administration.
Judy Rice, 52, was chosen to replace the retiring Bates this week. Her career in government began more than two decades ago as an employee of Daley. She moved to the mayor's administration upon his election, eventually rising to city treasurer where she added community financial literacy education to her official duties. She was "shocked," she told the Chicago Sun-Times a few years ago, that a third of the city's population didn't have bank account.
Rice has been at Harris, a subsidiary of Bank of Montreal, since 2007, though judging by a commendation from Daley in the press release on her appointment, her city connections are still tight.
IndyMac? Who remembers that?
OK, everybody. As national news cameras rolled, depositors lined up to yank their deposits from a failed institution whose loans epitomized the housing market's debauchery.
It made some sense, then, that the government-picked owners of IndyMac's corpse kept a low profile for a while. But no longer. OneWest Bank will be coming out of its shell, with the help of Davis Elen Advertising, a Southern California firm that produces hip advertisements. According to its announcement, Davis Elen will "articulate] the brand image of OneWest" in a campaign that will include billboards, TV, radio, and luxury publications "as well as major sports sponsorships."
Still Got It
Despite the black eye that banking has received in the past two years, there are some bankers who are still sought after for high-profile speaking engagements.
Jamie Dimon, the chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co., is set to be the commencement speaker at Syracuse University on May 16. Dimon will also receive an honorary degree.
Nancy Cantor, the chancellor and president at Syracuse, said Dimon was selected because he is "widely respected for his leadership and knowledge in the financial world."
Meanwhile, John Allison, who retired in December as the chairman of BB&T Corp., delivered the keynote Friday at an annual entrepreneur competition hosted by Wake Forest University, where he is also a professor.