Citigroup chairman Dick Parsons hasn't been all that successful in fixing the ailing bank. Although Citi indicated yesterday that plans to reduce the government's stake in the bank—and return part of the $45 billion of taxpayer money it's received—it remains the most troubled major financial institution in America. (And it continues to be led by Vikram Pandit, who is probably the worst CEO of a major financial institution that still has a full-time job.) But don't let that stop you from pursuing a little freelance work, Dick.
Parsons is planning to join Providence Equity Partners as a senior adviser, which means he will now be dividing his time between his existing role at Citi and his new position at Providence, which will have him working with the private equity giant to source new deals as well as manage some of its existing investments, such as MGM and Univision, both of which have proven to be troubled deals for Providence. The upside? Parsons gets to be a media industry player again! Per the Times:
The new position at Providence, which Mr. Parsons plans to pursue part time, will put him back into the deal-making fray within the media world for the first time since retiring from Time Warner’s board this year.
That's nice. But now he'll have less time for Citi. And the man responsible for not fixing the bank (not to mention partly responsible for the most disastrous merger in American corporate history) will now be handed other messes to clean up. Brilliant. And it looks pretty lousy, too. Jeffrey Cane of Reuters:
So is this the right time for the chairman of Citi to be focusing on media deals? Sure, having the former chief executive of Time Warner join Providence makes loads of sense. But it still looks bad. Taxpayers may well wonder why the chairman is broadening his portfolio when they have a $45 billion investment and a guarantee on $300 billion in assets at stake.
On the plus side, though, at least his new colleagues at Providence can now all look forward to a delicious case of Brunello next Christmas.
Citi's Parsons Said to Join Equity Firm [NYT]
PE and the Citi [Reuters]
Related: Dick Parsons' Annual Vacation Couldn't Come Sooner