Today Weekdays 6-9am and Saturdays 7-9am

  • News Feeds
Page last updated at 10:24 GMT, Saturday, 27 December 2008
Guest editor: Sir Win Bischoff

Sir Win Bischoff
Every year the Today programme invites people in the public eye, from artists and musicians to business men and royalty, to guest edit the programme in the week after Christmas.

The fourth programme was edited by Citigroup chairman Sir Win Bischoff.

He used the opportunity to look into the British Olympic cycling team's secret of success, to find out whether schools were doing enough to teach financial literacy and to discuss US president Franklin D Roosevelt's strategy for handling the Great Depression.

As the chairman of one of the world's largest banks, Sir Win has seen the financial turbulence of the last 12 months at close hand. He talks to presenter Evan Davis about the reasons the economic crisis was not predicted, the banks' responsibility for the financial meltdown and the contentious issue of city bonuses.

The spectacular success of the British Olympic Cycling Team led Sir Win to wonder whether they had any advice that they could give businesses about how to perform better. Business presenter Adam Shaw visited the team's headquarters to find out more.

A life-long opera lover, Sir Win was interested in the parallels between conducting business and conducting an orchestra, visiting the English National Opera to speak to musical director Ed Gardner.

During the darkest days of the banking crisis, Sir Win emailed a copy of Franklin D Roosevelt's famous inaugural speech containing the line "we have nothing to fear but fear itself" to his staff. Professor Tony Badger gave his analysis of the lessons for politicians today from FDR's handling of the Great Depression.

Sir Win was interested to find out whether schools are doing enough to teach financial literacy. Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families Ed Balls discussed whether children are now being better equipped with the skills needed to make complex financial decisions.

He wanted to take a look at what sort of 2008 the Chinese people have had, with both the success of the Olympics and the tragedy of the Sichuan earthquake. He talked his friend CH Tung, the Chinese tycoon and former chief executive of Hong Kong, reflecting on a turbulent past year and an uncertain Chinese future.

Sir Win is not just the chairman of Citigroup, he is also the chairman of the UK Career Academy Foundation. It is a charity that goes into partnership with selected schools, and creates opportunities for children who wouldn't normally have them, to work for a time in big city firms. He was keen to show us what it could achieve and took presenter Evan Davis to a "Career Academy" scheme at Sir George Monoux College in Walthamstow, East London.

The Citigroup chairman also chairs the Financial Services Global Competitiveness Group, along with Chancellor Alistair Darling. The group was set up by the Treasury in July 2008 to ensure that London maintains its place as one of the world's leading financial centres. Anshu Jain, one of the members of the group and the head of global markets at Deutsche Bank, gave his analysis of the sustainability of the UK economy following the credit crunch.


Sir Winfried "Win" Bischoff is the current chairman of US financial services company Citigroup, which boasts the world's largest financial services network in the world, with approximately 12,000 offices in 107 countries.

Sir Win was born in Aachen, Germany in 1941 and in 1955 moved to South Africa, earning a degree in business from University of the Witwatersrand in 1961.

After a brief stint at the Chase Manhattan Bank, he joined the financial division of J Henry Schroder & Co in 1966, rising to become Managing Director of Schroders Asia in 1971, group chief executive in 1984 and Chairman in 1995.

Under his chairmanship, Schroders rose dramatically in value - the company was valued at £30m when he took the helm and in 2000 the investment banking division was sold to Citigroup for £1.3bn. For his work at Schroders he was awarded a knighthood in 2000.

Sir Win joined Citi as Chairman of Citigroup Europe in 2000, a position he held until becoming chairman in November 2007. He is also chairman of the British educational charity, Career Academies UK.

Martin Rees Martin Rees
Cosmologist, Astronomer Royal and President of the Royal Society

David Hockney David Hockney
One of the most influential British artists of the 21st century

Tony Adams Tony Adams
Football manager and former Arsenal and England defender

PD James PD James
Best-selling crime writer and Conservative peer

Robert Wyatt Robert Wyatt
Solo musician and Soft Machine founder member

Baroness Williams Shirley Williams
Senior Liberal Democrat politician

David Hockney Audio slideshow
The world through Hockney's eyes

William Petersen, Paul Guilfoyle, and Marg Helgenberger, investigate a bomb explosion in a scene from the first season of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." Crime friction
Sir Ian Blair's fears over the power of crime drama

The South Oxhey Community Choir perform at St Albanís Cathedral Britain's choirs
Listen to the amateur choirs singing in the UK

Mark Rylance as 'Rooster' Byron in Jerusalem Just the ticket
Are we in the midst of a golden age of British theatre?


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific