Citigroup Inc.’s $4.7 billion pretax writedown of its Morgan Stanley Smith Barney stake probably won’t reduce a profit-sharing plan’s award for Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit that could total $24 million.
In the clash of the two largest U.S. brokerages, Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch is generating more profit with fewer people than the business Morgan Stanley formed by buying a controlling stake in a venture with Citigroup Inc.’s Smith Barney.
Citigroup Inc.’s Smith Barney unit can’t be sued by the union pension fund that’s the lead plaintiff in a six-year-old shareholder fraud class action because it never owned any of the shares that are the basis of the lawsuit, a judge said.
The pitch was enticing. At a time when the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index had suffered a decline of 41 percent in the previous three years, Morgan Stanley was offering its clients the possibility of some relief.