Citigroup’s Ray McGuire turns to tech exec Charles Phillips as advisor for possible NYC mayoral marketing campaign

Ray McGuire, vice chairman of Citigroup Inc., speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, April 29, 2019.

Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Citigroup executive Ray McGuire is turning to one of his closest associates in the business community to guide him on what appears to be a likely run for mayor of New York. 

McGuire, according to people familiar with the matter, has turned to Charles Phillips, former CEO of software company Infor, as an advisor while he seriously considers running for the city’s highest office.

Phillips, these people added, has been in on meetings with potential supporters, including those with ties to Wall Street, and others guiding McGuire on his potential run. 

One of the people noted that Phillips is in line to be McGuire’s campaign manager if he officially announces his run. Another acknowledged that Phillips will at least be “very involved” with the Citi vice chairman’s campaign if he were to get into the race. These people declined to be named as Phillips’ role had yet to be made public. 

McGuire, who is also chairman of Citi’s banking, capital markets and advisory business, has not publicly confirmed whether he is planning to get into the race. Mayor Bill de Blasio is wrapping up his final term. A Citi spokeswoman, McGuire and Phillips did not return requests for comment. 

Phillips, who also had leadership stints at Morgan Stanley and Oracle, has been close to McGuire for years. McGuire and Phillips serve on the board of trustees of the New York City Police Foundation, according to the group’s 2019 report. The New York Times previously reported that McGuire and Phillips have met with officials at the New York Police Department to discuss how to improve relations with the Black community. 

In 2019, they were two of 27 Black leaders that condemned the dousing of water on New York police officers. 

Phillips also has extensive experience in politics, making him an ideal choice to possibly have a senior role on what seems to be a likely mayoral campaign. 

He served on President Barack Obama’s Economic Recovery Board. He helped organize what is now known as the Black Economic Alliance, which has a political action committee that backs candidates with priorities of working on the economic interests of the Black community. They have endorsed the Democratic presidential ticket of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. 

Phillips currently serves on the board of directors of the Black Economic Alliance. 

McGuire, a moderate Democrat, has been vocal on key issues when it comes to policing and the Black community. 

After the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, McGuire told CNBC that the killing was “cold-blooded murder” and called on corporate leaders to take the necessary steps to combat racism.

He recently authored a preface to a Citi report titled “Closing the Racial Inequality Gaps.” In the introduction, the banking executive reflects on how he’s seen as a Black man. 

“Yet even today, with all those credentials and as one of the leading executives on Wall Street, I am still seen first as a six-foot-four, two-hundred-pound Black man wherever I go — even in my own neighborhood. I could have been George Floyd,” he writes. 

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