Sandy Weill: The Rise to the Top

On March 16 in the year 1933, one of the most famous banker and deal makers in modern times was born in New York, USA. His name is Sanford I. “Sandy” Weill, the former CEO and Chairman of Citigroup. According to, he has a net worth of over $1 billion as of August, 2021.

Sandy Weill
Sandy Weill (Photo Credi:

Sandy Weill was the son of Polish Jewish immigrants. He earned a degree in government from Cornell University in 1955, the first in the family to graduate in college. After graduation, he joined Wall Street firm Bear Stearns as a runner and later he was promoted to stockbroker.
After leaving Bear Stearns in 1960, Sandy founded his own stock brokerage firm together with three others. Through the years, the company has been reorganized due to the departure of some partners and the acquisition or merger with other companies which are mostly engineered by him as CEO. By the early 1980s, the company was called Shearson Loeb Rhoades, the second largest stock brokerage in the United States. In 1981, it merged with American Express in a deal worth $930 million. He was made president of American Express in 1983 and the CEO of its insurance subsidiary.
Since his resignation from American Express, Sandy went on to make high profile deals such as acquisition of the commercial credit subsidiary of Control Data Corporation, Gulf Insurance, Primerica, retail outlets of Drexel Burnham Lambert, property and casualty operations of Aetna Life & Casualty and the parent company of Salomon Brothers Inc. In 1993, he bought back his old Shearson Company.
But Sandy is best remembered for merging Travelers Insurance Group with Citicorp in 1998 in a historic $76 billion deal. For the deal to succeed, he worked for the repeal of the Glass–Steagall Act which separated banking and insurance operation. Eventually, he became CEO of the surviving entity up to 2003 and chairman emeritus up to 2006. At that time, Citigroup was the largest financial services company in the world.
Sandy has 2 children with his wife Joan. The couple had been very active in charitable activities. They have donated $185 million to University of California San Francisco for a neurosciences institute and contributed $250 million to the Weill Cornell Medical School. Since his retirement, he became a director of several companies including The Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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