Efforts by Citigroup Inc. senior executives to tighten controls in Mexico were rebuffed by managers there for at least five years before the U.S. bank found the local unit had suffered a $400 million loan fraud last month, four people with direct knowledge of the matter said.
Interest rates topping 11 percent and collateral made up of aging vessels including a pair of almost 30-year-old tug boats helped lure investors to Oceanografia SA’s sale of $335 million of bonds in 2008.
Mexican authorities questioned Citigroup Inc. employees and seized records from Oceanografia SA to examine how the bank allegedly was cheated out of hundreds of millions of dollars, two government officials said.
Four days before the Mexican government seized oil-services company Oceanografia SA, Chief Executive Officer Amado Yanez took to Twitter, sending posts on martial arts icon Bruce Lee and the Virgin of Guadalupe.
The executive suite at Citigroup Inc.’s headquarters in New York where Michael Corbat has his office hasn’t been renovated since its previous occupant, Vikram Pandit, vacated the premises in October 2012.
Blackstone Group LP chief Steve Schwarzman received $374.5 million last year in pay and cash dividends, an increase of 76 percent from 2012, as the world’s biggest alternative-asset manager took advantage of rising equity markets to sell shares of companies.
The top 10 dealmakers at publicly traded private-equity firms took home at least $1.7 billion in dividends in 2013 as they seized on rallying stock markets to sell stakes in everything from a Chinese insurer to a U.S. theme-park operator to a French floormaker.