Jim Cowles '77: Citigroup CEO
The CEO of Citigroup Europe, West Asia and Africa, Jim Cowles ‘77 knows how to think on his feet. As a half-fly on the Denison Rugby team, Cowles had to be a quick thinking and tactical player.
Cowles, an economics major at Denison who went on to obtain a MBA from Wharton, needs all that ‘on-the-fly’ agility to lead his company through the shifting economic landscape.
In a recent article in Financial News.com, notes:
“Although based in London, the 60-year-old has a crazy travel schedule reflecting the 55 countries for which he has responsibility. Although Citi has pulled out of retail in several countries, Cowles says the bank is committed to retaining its institutional business in all of them. That includes Russia, where several rivals have pulled back sharply, most notably Deutsche Bank, which is closing its investment banking operation.
“We have brought down our risk profile and shifted resources into the Eurozone. But it has been very important that we continue to serve our clients while obviously also abiding by the sanctions. If we are working with a client in 40 countries and there is a problem in one country, and they see that we are not there for them, they are going to question our level of commitment in the other 39 countries.”
“Citi is also committed to Africa despite the commodities-related slowdown and growing questions about how much of the continent’s economic renaissance over the past decade was driven by the Chinese-fuelled demand for its minerals.”