KEY POINTS

  • McGuire’s campaign will be co-chaired by Valerie Jarrett, the former close adviser to President Barack Obama
  • Film director Spike Lee is also expected to join McGuire’s campaign as a co-chair
  • At Citi, McGuire has advised on transactions valued at more than $250 billion

A top Black senior executive at Citigroup (C), with some well known supporters, is planning to ditch his job to run for mayor of New York City as a Democrat.

Raymond McGuire, 63, Citi’s vice chairman and chairman of its global banking, capital markets and advisory business, hopes to succeed current Mayor Bill DeBlasio, whose term expires on Jan. 1, 2022.

McGuire is considered one of the most prominent Black executives on Wall Street.

McGuire’s campaign will be co-chaired by Valerie Jarrett, the former close adviser to President Barack Obama, CNBC reported. Charles Phillips, the former CEO of Infor, an enterprise software company, will also co-chair the campaign.

Film director Spike Lee is expected to join McGuire’s campaign as a third co-chair.

“We’re in a war for the survival of this great city. Without a doubt we can do this. From the streets to the suites,” McGuire told CNBC.

McGuire said he was particularly affected by the death of George Floyd, the unarmed black man who was killed by a white policeman in Minneapolis earlier this year. McGuire characterized the incident as “cold-blooded murder.”

McGuire recently wrote a preface to a report issued by Citi titled, “Closing the Racial Inequality Gaps.”

In that preface, he wrote that even with all his accomplishments and credentials, “I am still seen first as a 6-foot-4, 200-pound Black man wherever I go -- even in my own neighborhood. I could have been George Floyd.”

Phillips told CNBC that New York City faces its biggest “economic challenge in decades and we need to execute with purpose and efficiency. Ray is the right person to lead and unify the city to create something better when we get through this. He took the time to prepare and he’s more than ready to outwork everyone.”

McGuire has also called for better healthcare and reform of the education systems in low-income and minority neighborhoods, Bloomberg reported.

“Service is an important and necessary part of my journey and it should be an important and necessary part of all our journeys,” McGuire said at the Economic Club of New York in June. “Wherever I think I can be best and most highly effective, that’s the path that I will follow.”

At Citi, McGuire has advised on transactions valued at more than $250 billion, including Time Warner’s separation of Time Warner Cable and Conoco Phillips Co.’s (COP) acquisition of Burlington Resources.