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Citi top three to forfeit 08 bonuses

Date: Thursday, January 22, 2009
Author: Mark Bruno, Investment News.com

Citigroup Inc.'s top three executives have chosen to forfeit any bonuses that they might have earned last year, according to a filing that the company made with the Securities and Exchange Commission today.

Chief executive Vikram Pandit, chairman Sir Winfried Bischoff and chief financial officer Gary Crittenden told Citigroup's compensation committee that they didnít want to be considered for any form of incentive or retention payment, according to the filing.

By forgoing such payments, the three executives will take a substantial pay cut from 2007, when they earned more than $24 million in combined bonuses and stock awards, according to Citigroup's most recent annual proxy filing (Mr. Pandit received only $323,000 in stock awards, as he was first hired in December and didnít receive a cash bonus, according to the proxy).

The executives will receive only their base salaries for 2008, confirmed spokesman Michael Hanretta. It isnít clear exactly how much they would have been eligible to receive for their work last year, particularly in light of the company's performance in 2008 ó a year in which it reported more than $18 billion in losses and its stock declined almost 80%.

The federal government has injected $45 billion into Citigroup as a result of its deteriorating balance sheet.

Other members of New York-based Citigroup's executive committee, however, will receive stock and option awards that will vest only if the companyís stock hits or exceeds specified targets over the next four years, according to the filing.