Warren Buffett tells Citigroup CEO Fraser to keep going with overhaul -source

By Isla Binnie and Lananh Nguyen

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Over a recent lunch with Warren Buffett, Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser outlined her latest round of reorganization efforts to simplify the bank. He told her to keep going.

Fraser recounted the meal with the billionaire investor on a conference call with managing directors on Thursday, according to a source who was on the call.

The anecdote concluded Fraser’s address to Citigroup bosses. During the call, she indicated that more information about the next round of the reorganization would be shared as soon as next week, said the source, who declined to be identified discussing internal communications.

Buffett confirmed the lunch took place, but declined to give more details about the conversation, according to a Berkshire Hathaway representative. Citigroup declined to comment.

Fraser is engineering Citi’s biggest revamp in decades, aiming to reduce red tape while boosting the company’s profits and share price.

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc made a $3 billion bet on Citi in 2022, lifting its stock and boosting confidence in the Wall Street bank. He remained a top five shareholder as of September 2023, according to LSEG data.

At Bank of America, Buffett’s support helped recover investor confidence as CEO Brian Moynihan rebuilt the second largest U.S. lender in the wake of the financial crisis.

Citigroup eliminated more leadership roles this week, Reuters previously reported.

In separate conversations, managers in markets, risk and investment banking were informed they were being let go as part of the reorganization, according to four sources familiar with the process, who declined to be identified discussing personnel matters.

(Reporting by Isla Binnie and Lananh Nguyen in New York; additional reporting by Tatiana Bautzer; editing by Michelle Price and Leslie Adler)