NEW YORK, April 25 (Reuters) – Citigroup Inc’s (C.N) chairman John Dugan defended the company’s efforts to fix its regulatory problems and bolster its stock at the bank’s annual meeting on Tuesday.
“We completely understand” shareholders’ frustration with the share price, he said, after fielding several questions from shareholders on the topic.
Investor dissatisfaction is likely to persist for some time, said Mike Mayo, an analyst at Wells Fargo who attended Citigroup’s virtual shareholder meeting.
“They should have done it in person given the state of their underperformance,” he said.
Still, Mayo welcomed Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser’s pledge to receive 85% of her pay in stock, a higher proportion than peers at other banking giants.
Separately, Fraser said the sale of Citigroup’s Mexican consumer business, known as Banamex, was taking “longer than expected,” because of its complexity.
The bank is still pursuing two options for the business: a sale or initial public offering, she said.
The bank could have fetched a much higher valuation had it sold Banamex a decade ago, Mayo said. He sees Citigroup’s treasury and trade solutions unit, which owns a large global wholsesale payment network, as a standout business that will drive its future performance.
The majority of Citigroup shareholders agreed to management proposals to elect board members and pay executives.
While all of the motions submitted by shareholders failed, a proposal to restrict managers’ termination pay was supported by 28% of voters, while a plan to create a report on Citi’s impact on Indigenous rights received backing of 31% of voters, according to preliminary tallies.
Only about 10% of voters endorsed a resolution for Citi to phase out fossil fuel financing. Climate activists targeted Citi and Bank of America offices with spray painted messages and protests on Monday ahead of their annual meetings.
Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer, editing by Lananh Nguyen