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King of Capital: Sandy Weill and the Making of Citigroupby Amey Stone
Synopses & Reviews
The 1998 Travelers-Citicorp merger defied federal law, caused a dramatic CEO power struggle, and changed the landscape of the banking and insurance businesses forever-in other words, just another day at the office for Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill. Financial writers Amey Stone and Mike Brewster recount how a middle-class boy from Brooklyn transformed himself into the consummate corporate deal maker in the riveting King of Capital.
The seeds of the historic Citigroup merger were sown early in Weill's career. Working in the 1960s and 1970s with an all-star cast that included future New York Observer publisher Arthur Carter, future Broadway mogul Roger Berlind, and future SEC chairman Arthur Levitt Jr., Weill devised a winning blueprint for acquiring companies: buy a struggling firm with a prestigious name on the cheap, adopt its brand name, close under-performing divisions, integrate its operations into the existing infrastructure, and slash costs.
In 1970, Weill's modest, startup brokerage firm CBWL acquired troubled but venerable Hayden Stone, a firm many times its size. This acquisition set the foundation for the building of Weill's prize gem, Shearson, named after Stone acquired Shearson Hamill. Ten years and fourteen deals later, Weill sold Shearson to American Express, establishing himself as one of the top chief executives of his era.
Weill, though, could never be content as a "deputy dog" to Amex CEO James Robinson III. He left the company in 1985 and started over-essentially from scratch-as CEO of the struggling Commercial Credit, a modest firm based in Baltimore, Maryland, that in a little over a decade morphed into the Travelers Corporation. In 1998, Weill defied federal regulations by masterminding the merger of Travelers with Citibank. Stone and Brewster explain the sophisticated structure of this conglomerate and how Weill aggressively lobbied Congress and the President to ensure its legality. Stone and Brewster also offer insight into the evolution of Citigroup's inner circle following a power struggle between Weill and co-CEO John Reed and how Citigroup plans to address the thorny issue of succession as Weill enters his seventies.
Weill's unprecedented achievements have been tempered by key personal and professional relationships, public defeats, and consumer criticism. However, with the unwavering support of Joan, his wife of more than forty years, Weill remains at the peak of his profession, forever on the lookout for the next megadeal. Discover how a disregard for the impossible and maniacal attention to the bottom line created a financial empire for the incomparable King of Capital.
THE CONSUMMATE DEAL MAKER
THE ULTIMATE DEAL
"Sandy Weill is probably the best deal maker on the planet. He is truly one of the leading business titans of our times."
"Sandy's record speaks for itself. I can only dream of where Bear Stearns would be if he had stayed with us."
Chairman to the Executive Committee, Bear Stearns
"King of Capital is about the extraordinary achievement of a man who climbed the highest pinnacles of the world of finance. Sandy Weill recognized early the transformation that was taking place in the financial markets and was able to capture many of the opportunities in them. This book is deftly written and provides many insights into today's financial markets."
President, Henry Kaufman &Company, Inc.
author of On Money and Markets: A Wall Street Memoir
A fascinating story of a legendary dealmaker who masterminded an unprecedented merger
Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill orchestrated many deals over his legendary forty-five year career—none bigger than the 1998 epic merger of Travelers and Citibank to create the international conglomerate, Citigroup. King of Capital tells the compelling story of how this complex man revolutionized the banking world and transformed Citigroup through a combination of mergers and powerplays.
Throughout his entire career Weill has created successful businesses out of smaller, seemingly unworkable pieces; filled product vacuums no one else even realized were void; and forced issues that no one else had the gumption to tackle. His daring dealmaking tactics were never more evident than while forming Citigroup, as he lobbied Congress to deregulate the financial services industry and ousted his co-CEO in a public power struggle. Through an engaging narrative by financial writers Amey Stone and Mike Brewster, King of Capital chronicles the legacy of Sandy Weill that began taking shape in 1970 with the creation of Shearson, was honed during his tenure at American Express, and continues as he leads one of the world's largest banks.
Along with probing Weill's signature business deals, King of Capital traces the path this feared, envied, and admired man took to get to the top. Readers will gain valuable insight into the strategies and tactics of this admired dealmaker-including his ability to turn a workforce into a family, with all the love, loyalty, battles and heartbreaks. What distinguishes Weill from the run-of-the mill executive is a laser-like focus on what he wants, trust in his lieutenants, and incredible belief in himself-conviction that he did not always possess. Weill, cowed by Bensonhurst bullies as a child, hazed as a military school plebe, intimidated by the strong personalities of some his early partners, has defied all expectations to become a CEO whose deals have had lasting impact on global finance and the economy.
Amey Stone (New York, NY) has more than ten years of experience as a financial writer. Currently, she is an Associate Editor at BusinessWeek Online, where she cowrites the daily "Street Wise" column, and is responsible for writing many of the site's lead stories on business trends, technology, and the economy, including several articles covering Citigroup and Sandy Weill.
Mike Brewster (New York, NY) is an accomplished writer, editor and financial services professional. He recently launched a career magazine called Leaders Online.
About the Author
AMEY STONE has ten years' experience as a financial writer, including seven years with BusinessWeek, two with SmartMoney, and one with Financial Planning magazine. She is currently an associate editor at BusinessWeek Online, where she cowrites the daily "Street Wise" column.
MIKE BREWSTER is the former editor of LeadersOnline, a magazine devoted to executive leadership and career management. He previously worked as a sportswriter in upstate New York and served as a director of communications at global consulting firm KPMG.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Meet Sandy Weill.
Chapter 1: The Past Is Gone. The Future Is Limitless.
Chapter 2: The Best and Brightest.
Chapter 3: Hayden Stone: Weill's Acquisition Template.
Chapter 4: Building Shearson.
Chapter 5: Deputy Dog.
Chapter 6: Starting Over.
Chapter 7: Back in the Big Leagues.
Chapter 8: Deal of the Century.
Chapter 9: Weill on Top.
Chapter 10: Citigroup, Post-September 11.
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