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Ex-Citi CFO Thomson Eyes Starting PE Fund

Clear of Citigroup's turmoil in his current Headwaters firm, he is looking to raise $1 billion to $2 billion to capitalize on credit-crisis "detrit...
Stephen TaubNovember 6, 2007

Todd Thomson, the former Citigroup Inc. CFO and one-time chairman and CEO of its Global Wealth Management Division, says he may raise $1 billion to $2 billion in a new private equity fund geared to financial-services investing.

According to a Reuters report, Thomson, whose current Headwaters Capital LLC firm shares an office with private equity firm Ripplewood Holdings, said: “There might be some interesting things that come out of detritus of the mortgage meltdown.” He added that he thinks mortgage-related assets are headed even lower, the wire service reported.

“What would be interesting is to buy, for the right price, some of the (mortgage) servicers,” Thomson said, adding that he would consider making investments in other parts of the financial services industry as well. “In raising money today, you need a real story,” he told Reuters. Currently his firm, he said, is investing his own capital with only a handful of employees.

In January Thomson left his job at Citi’s Global Wealth Management Division amid questions over his relationship with CNBC reporter Maria Bartiromo.

He was replaced at that time by Sallie L. Krawcheck, who also relinquished her job as CFO of Citigroup to take the Global Wealth Management position. Prior to his departure, Thomson and Krawcheck both had been citied by CEO Charles Prince as “legitimate contenders” for either the CEO or chief operating officer position.

Prince recently submitted his resignation as Citi CEO in the wake of its statement that it expected that it could have losses of between $8 billion and $11 billion in the currrent quarter as a result of the credit crisis.

From 2000 through 2004, Thomson had served in Citigroup positions including chief financial officer and head of operations, technology, and strategy. Before that, he served as CEO of Citi’s Global Private Bank.

Thomson has a background in private equity. He joined Citigroup from GE Capital, where he was senior vice president of Strategic Planning and Business Development, and led acquisitions and new market expansion.

Previously, Thomson led the Merchant Banking Services practice for Barents Group LLC, where he led transactions in more than two dozen countries, including the first privatizations in Vietnam, the Baltics, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Bulgaria.

Thomson began his career at Bain & Co., where he led more than 25 strategy consulting engagements for 15 major U.S. and multinational corporations.

Back in 2004, he and his wife gave $500,000 to the Wharton Center for Leadership and Change Management to help create a new Wharton Leadership Advisory Board.

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