Top Black Citigroup Exec Resigns

In the wake of a banking scandal in Japan, Citigroup Inc.’s most senior black manager has been forced out. Thomas W. Jones, chairman and chief executive of the global investment management division, resigned along with two other key New York executives: Citigroup Vice Chairman Sir Deryck Maughan and chief executive of its private bank, Peter K. Scaturro. Citigroup declined comment on the resignations beyond a memo sent to senior managers.

The world’s largest financial institution closed its private banking operation in Tokyo after Japan’s Financial Services Agency revealed that weak supervision had allowed Citibank workers to make improper transactions and mislead customers about finanical risks, among other violations.

Jones, 55, oversaw $8 billion in business from Citigroup Asset Management, Private Banking, and Travelers Life & Annuity operations. One of BE’s Top 50 Blacks in Corporate America and a BE Wall Street All-Star, Jones once had been viewed as a possible successor to former Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill.

Corporate scandals have ruined the careers of many black executives in recent years and have also sent some to prison. But Jones’ career won’t be irreparably damaged unless regulators find that his involvement in the Japan scandal went beyond the fact that it happened on his watch, says David A. Thomas, professor of organizational behavior at Harvard Business School. Jones could not be reached for comment.