Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Money Man, Bob Rubin

gets a vote of confidence from the NY Times:
At Citigroup, Mr. Rubin has always been a reluctant chairman of the executive committee and even more resistant to being a manager. Instead, he spent his days meeting with clients and using his large Rolodex of contacts to bring in business or smooth relations with government and business leaders, according to The Times. His other role was to serve as Mr. Prince’s sounding board and advocate.

Under Sanford I. Weill, Mr. Rubin also served as a sounding board. But when Mr. Prince took over, Mr. Rubin’s advice was sought less often, according to The Times. Only in the last year or so did Mr. Prince routinely seek Mr. Rubin’s counsel.

Still, Mr. Rubin has largely stayed above the fray. Part of this is his humble, self-effacing style. Another reason is that he offers advice but puts the final call in the hands of Citigroup’s business leaders. Although he has not been making day-to-day decisions, he has been more involved in guiding the bank than many had thought, The Times said.

I think Rubin is a superior leader, and admire his effective strong dollar advocacy and market stabilization in the Clinton administration, but I think he is a bit like Bill Parcells. Unfortunately, the Belichick of my equation is Fischer Black, who is no longer with us. Parcells is a hall-of-fame coach with Belichick on his staff, but cannot compile a long-term winning record without him.

The genius of Parcells and Rubin is finding someone special and giving them a chance to shine. I know this because I know there are plenty of idiots on Wall Street making $1 million or more, to go with those who actually return a high multiple of their pay in shareholder value.

No comments:

Post a Comment