Regulators investigating Wall Street’s biggest investment banks may next target their CEOs, including Citigroup chief Sandy Weill.
“Everyone is fair game,” said one source close to the investigations, which after scorching analysts look increasingly like they’re headed for the executive suites.
For CEOs of firms that were charged with fraud, including Weill, that means the $1.4 billion global settlement reached two weeks ago settled nothing and he could be open to a inquiries focused on his failure to supervise.
Regulators led by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer are making it clear that the settlement changed the rules of the game but the investigations underway will target individuals.
Those individuals could go as high as CEOs and will include investment bankers, even though they would not be considered along a traditional supervisory line.
The settlement, said people familiar with the investigations, proved that the bankers had supervisory roles hiring, firing and input on compensation over analysts.
Supervisors likley to be examined include Andrew Melnick, who was the head of research at Merrill Lynch and who supervised Henry Blodget before moving to Goldman Sachs.
Other supervisors being examined for failure to supervise include Kevin McCaffrey former head of U.S. equity research at Citigroup’s Salomon Smith Barney investment bank – who regulators disclosed in March they were investigating.
Among the others in the chain of command above Jack Grubman – all of whom could face scrutiny are John Hoffmann, Salomon’s former head of global equity research; Jeffrey Waters, associate director of U.S. equity research; and Michael Carpenter, who formerly was CEO of Salomon.
Regulators will be looking for evidence that bankers pressured analysts to keep or change a rating.