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Pandit is credited with not only slimming the bank, but removing it from government ownership after the bailout and righting its balance sheet after billions in losses on bad mortgage investments made before he took the helm. But he came under criticism for not cutting expenses enough last year.

“You’re in a recovery mode, and the last thing you should do is make investments that retard that,” said Second Curve’s Brown of the bank’s 2011 investments overseas and in branches. “Last year was terrible.”

Said Cassidy: “I don’t know if (Pandit) was pushed out or quit, but I don’t think he was following the game plan of O’Neill.”