Veteran Citigroup exec enters New York City mayoral race

October 16, 2020.
Ray McGuire (Ray McGuire for Mayor , Inc.)

Ray McGuire (Ray McGuire for Mayor , Inc.)

Ray McGuire, a vice chairman at and one of Wall Street’s top-ranking Black executives, has stepped down from his job at the investment bank to run for mayor of New York City ahead of the November 2021 election.

According to a staff memo sent Thursday from Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat, McGuire decided to leave his position as chairman of banking, capital markets and advisory to “pursue his lifelong passion for public service.” The memo was also signed by Paco Ybarra, the head of the New York-based bank’s institutional clients group.

The executives thanked McGuire for his 15-year tenure at the firm, where they said he rose through the ranks of the corporate and investment banking division and helped pull off “some of the most complex transactions in history.”

McGuire has personally originated and executed deals worth a combined $650 billion over his career, according to his mayoral campaign. The website revealing his bid to run the U.S.’ main financial hub launched Thursday following the memo’s release.

“Ray has been a torchbearer, trusted and valued colleague and friend, admired by colleagues throughout Citi,” Corbat and Ybarra said.

Once a finalist for the top job at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, McGuire had been mulling a possible run for months, The New York Times reported. He said he is prepared to lead the city through what is shaping up to be a uniquely challenging period in its history.

The COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdown measures by the city have reportedly caused a $9 billion revenue shortfall, along with a $4 billion gap in the budget for the coming fiscal year.

“This city is a big, complex business that is failing right now,” McGuire said. “It needs a chief executive who has a vision, who knows how to spark growth, revive the economy, attract the best talent and get this city back to work.”

In addition to his reputation as a deal-maker, the former executive has also spearheaded a number of diversity and inclusion initiatives. McGuire was involved in founding a mentorship program for minority-owned banks and has advocated for minority-owned broker dealers involved in Citi’s equity and debt syndications, according to Corbat and Ybarra. 

In September, McGuire wrote the forward to a Citi report on the economic impact of systemic racism in the U.S. The report found that gaps in wages, education, housing and investment between white and Black Americans resulted in $16 trillion of foregone GDP over the last 20 years.