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Citi Wooing Pandit

The former Morgan Stanley honcho gets a look, according to reports.


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is looking to hire

Morgan Stanley

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veteran Vikram Pandit, media reports say.

Citi hopes to lure Pandit by purchasing Old Lane, the hedge fund he and other former Morgan Stanley executives started last year, according to

The Wall Street Journal

. The deal reportedly could cost Citi $600 million.

Pandit, Morgan Stanley's former head of investment securities, left Morgan in 2005 as former CEO Phil Purcell was beginning to lose his grip on the white shoe firm. John Mack replaced Purcell later that year.

Pandit could end up running Citi's alternative asset business, which offers private equity, hedge funds, real estate and structured products. The unit has been without a head since last May, when Michael Carpenter stepped down to pursue other opportunities.

Citi will be in the limelight for much of the week. The firm is set to announce a restructuring plan on Wednesday. The job cuts, expected to total 15,000, will come through consolidating the company's back-office, middle-office and corporate functions as well as moving some work to lower-cost areas,

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Citi CEO Charles Prince has come under fire on Wall Street as Citi's stock has lagged behind peers such as

Bank of America

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JPMorgan Chase

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. The company's sagging domestic consumer businesses and rising expenses have deterred investors.

Some observers have taken to criticizing Citi's soft domestic business, but Prince has repeatedly said he is looking for the international businesses to make up most of Citi's revenue. Citi named Robert Druskin operating chief in December to stem the company's expense growth.

Citi also said on Monday that it will purchase Taiwan's Bank of Overseas Chinese for $427.3 million. It expects to complete the transaction later this year.

A Citi spokeswoman declined to comment about the hedge fund deal. Representatives of Old Lane were not immediately available.

Shares of the company fell 14 cents to $51.43.