Hire Wire Aug 05 2011

Citi to Hire 500 Military Veterans

By kyle stock

Citigroup plans to hire close to 500 U.S. military veterans in the next 12 months, according to an internal memo from CEO Vikram Pandit obtained by FINS this afternoon.

Citigroup already employs at least 1,500 people who identify themselves as former soldiers and sailors, 150 of whom joined the firm this year. Most of the upcoming hires will work in operations and technology roles, according to Pandit's memo.

"It's a record we're all extremely proud of," Pandit wrote to employees. The memo can be seen in its entirety below.

The missive was sent as Pres. Obama unveiled a plan that calls for a $4,800 tax credit for companies that hire a veteran who has been out of work for more than six months. If the veteran is disabled, the credit would rise to $9,600. Firms that hire a former soldier who has been unemployed for less than six months would get a $2,400 tax credit.

"Today we're saying to our veterans, you fought for us and now we're fighting for you -- for the jobs and opportunities that you need to keep your families strong and to keep America competitive in the 21st century," Obama told a crowd at the Washington Navy Yard today.

Veterans have had a particularly tough time in today's labor market. Unemployment among veterans was 13.3% in June, a rate that will be exacerbated by the pending drawdown of about 56,000 of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.

Citi has also carved out a new position to coordinate its military hiring efforts to be filled by Christopher Page, a U.S. Army veteran and currently a vice president in control and emerging risk.

Additionally, Citi Chairman Richard Parsons has agreed to join First Lady Michelle Obama on an advisory board focused on supporting military families.

Cit's hiring push extends a recent effort on Wall Street to woo former military personnel. Five of the big Wall Street banks -- Bank of America, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs -- joined forces in September to found a recruiting coalition dubbed Veterans on Wall Street. The task force drew about 1,000 veterans from all over the country to a conference and career fair in midtown on June 23.

If Congress approves Obama's plan, the tax credits would be available in 2012 and 2013.

The memo in its entirety:

Dear Colleagues:

Citi has built a strong record in leading the effort to help military personnel and their families—and especially to hire veterans in key positions throughout this company. It's a record we're all extremely proud of. And we're pleased when those efforts are acknowledged. Today, in Washington, D.C., Citi was invited by The White House to join President Obama for a discussion about how we can all work together to help America's veterans.

Citi employs more than 1,500 veterans across our businesses. We have hired about

150 veterans this year and we expect to hire as many as 500 more in O&T alone over the next 12 months. In addition, we're helping military families stay in their homes, offering professional development and mentoring to former service personnel, and recruiting veterans to come and work in the financial services sector—and at Citi. But we realize there is more to do. And to do it, we need to devote more time and resources to the effort.

I'm pleased to announce that Christopher Page—currently a Vice President in Control & Emerging Risk—is taking on a new role, focused solely on developing, coordinating and supporting all of Citi's products, programs and activities that serve military personnel and veterans. Chris is a veteran of the U.S. Army and has served in the 18th Airborne Corps Artillery in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina and in Germany. He is currently a sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Leading the Citi Veterans Initiative, Chris will oversee our Disabled Veterans Mortgage Relief Program, the North America Service Initiative and the Citi Military Network. Chris will be a member of the Citi Community Development team and will report to Natalie Abatemarco, Director of National Initiatives.

In addition, Richard D. Parsons, our Chairman and a veteran himself, has been asked by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to serve on the advisory board of Joining Forces, a national initiative that mobilizes all sectors of society to support our service members and their families.

I want to thank Suni Harford, head of North America Markets in the ICG, who spearheaded our efforts to assist veterans on a volunteer basis. And I'd like to thank the many employees who have been working on this initiative over the past few years. With these additional resources, we can do even greater things for the veteran community.

Please join me in congratulating Chris on his new job and in doing everything we can to help him make this endeavor a great success—for Citi and for America's veterans.

--Vikram

Write to Kyle Stock at kyles@fins.com




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