Citigroup executive Ray McGuire seeks Wall Street leaders’ support for likely NYC mayoral run

Citigroup Vice Chairman Raymond J. McGuire on October 10, 2019 in New York City.

Jim Spellman | Getty Images

Citigroup’s Ray McGuire has recently huddled with several of his allies on Wall Street in a bid to gain their support for what appears to be a likely run for mayor of New York, according to people familiar with the matter. 

McGuire, according to these people, has had lunches and dinners with executives who have ties to the banking, hedge fund and private equity industries. Many of them have known the Citi vice chairman for years. 

The conversations have, at least in part, focused on McGuire looking toward potentially running for mayor and whether these executives will contribute to what would surely be an expensive campaign, these people added. They declined to be named as the conversations were deemed private.  

McGuire, who is also chairman of Citi’s banking, capital markets and advisory business, has not publicly confirmed whether he is planning to get into the race. A Citi spokeswoman said he would not comment for this story. 

Some of the people with knowledge of the meetings said that McGuire has indicated to his associates on Wall Street that he is going to run for mayor. They have, in turn, said he will receive their financial support. However, there are others in New York’s finance world who aren’t as convinced that he should get into the race and have signaled to him that he doesn’t have the name recognition or the experience to pull off a victory in 2021. 

McGuire has met with New York Democratic strategists about possibly getting into a race for an office that has been held by Bill de Blasio. He reportedly is being advised by Joel Klein,  New York City schools chancellor under former mayor Mike Bloomberg, and Klein’s wife, Nicole Seligman. 

McGuire, a moderate Democrat, has been vocal on key issues when it comes to policing and the Black community. 

After the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, McGuire told CNBC that the killing was “cold-blooded murder” and called on corporate leaders to take the necessary steps to combat racism.

He recently authored a preface to a Citi report titled “Closing the Racial Inequality Gaps.” In the introduction, the banking executive reflects on how he’s seen as a Black man. 

“Yet even today, with all those credentials and as one of the leading executives on Wall Street, I am still seen first as a six-foot-four, two-hundred-pound Black man wherever I go — even in my own neighborhood. I could have been George Floyd,” he writes. 

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