was quick to fire back at "rumors" (a New York Times article
) that made the case for Citigroup's exit from the asset management business.
, Citigroup's Robert Willumstad
, chief operating officer, circulated a memo that stated "[w]e are committed to the Asset Management business, which we believe is an important part of our long-term strategy for Citigroup...[a]ny rumors to the contrary are untrue."
The widely circulated NY Times
article cited unnamed executives that have been involved discussions over the past few months with Citigroup Chief Executive Officer Charles Prince
and other top management. According to the executives, Citigroup is considering selling, spinning off or reorganizing the business.
Public comments made by Willumstad support at least a rethinking of the business. Last week, Willumstad said that it sold its truck leasing business in order to "allocate capital most effectively throughout our businesses."
Sanford Weil, chairman of Citigroup, said in 2002: "[t]here has been a move in profitability from manufacturing to distribution," when the company spun off the unit of Travelers that provided property casualty products, reported the NY Times
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