Ray McGuire, one of Citigroup Inc.’s top investment bankers, is leaving the firm as he takes the first steps toward a run for mayor of New York.

McGuire on Thursday will open an account with the city’s Campaign Finance Board, said Lupe Todd-Medina, a spokeswoman for his campaign. That step will give him the ability to raise funds from donors and hire more staff as he seeks the Democratic nomination, Todd-Medina said. Former Infor Chief Executive Officer Charles Phillips is helping run the campaign.

One of the most senior Black executives on Wall Street, McGuire, 63, has been rumored to be interested in a mayoral run for months. He’s recently been more publicly vocal about some of his beliefs, including ideas on how to reform educational systems in low-income and minority neighborhoods as well as the need for better health care in those communities.

“I’m considering running for mayor because the same old political solutions and approaches aren’t big enough to solve today’s problems,” McGuire said in a statement Thursday. “This city is a big, complex business that is failing right now. 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.”

McGuire was raised by his grandparents and his mother, a social worker, in Dayton, Ohio. He attended Harvard University for his undergraduate education, and received law and master of business administration degrees from the university as well.

‘Big Money’
“There’s suspicion among city voters about Wall Street and big money in general,” said George Arzt, a Democratic political consultant who was press secretary for former Mayor Ed Koch. “He’s not well-known, and a lot will depend on how he comes across on the stump, and how he presents policies on the side of poor people.”

On his campaign website, McGuire is courting ordinary New Yorkers with tales of his early days in the city. When he first arrived, McGuire said, he stayed at a friend’s apartment rent-free while he searched for his own home.

“I couldn’t afford a place to live in the city,” McGuire said on the website. “They didn’t charge me, but I had to pay all the utilities so, needless to say, I spent a lot of time with the lights off.”

Still, those days are long gone: He ultimately joined Citigroup in 2005 as the bank’s head of global investment banking following earlier stints at Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch & Co. After more than a decade in the role, originating deals valued at a combined $650 billion, McGuire was named vice chairman in 2018.

Top Echelons
McGuire is one of the few Black executives to have made it into Wall Street’s top echelons, where progress is often slow and uneven. The percentage of Black workers inside Citigroup has fallen for at least eight straight years, according to the bank’s own reports.

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