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Wednesday Express: State Farm averts racketeering trial; Citi CFO to retire

* State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance has avoided the racketeering trial over allegations that the company helped in the 2004 election of Lloyd Karmeier to the Supreme Court of Illinois, Chicago Tribune reports. The auto insurer agreed to a $250 million accord.

* Citigroup CFO John Gerspach is retiring in March 2019.

* Meanwhile, Citi won a tender process to acquire the Israeli government's remaining 5.37% stake in Bank Leumi le Israel B.M., Reuters reports, citing Israel's finance ministry.

* Ladenburg Thalmann Annuity Insurance Services has acquired certain assets of the insurance distribution business operated by Kestler Financial Group.

* The U.S. is the world's top financial center in terms of quantitative value, while second-ranked U.K. is the most dominant financial center in Europe, although Britain's impending exit from the European Union poses risks to its international activity, according to think tank New Financial's international financial centers index.

* Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard told Fox Business that the U.S. economy is currently growing above trend, but most forecasts expect growth to slow down.

* Wealth manager Morgan Keegan paid $20 million to settle a 2006 lawsuit filed by Fairfax Financial for allegedly manipulating its stock.

* Esurance Insurance launched a new advertising campaign highlighting the ease of doing business with the company.

* And the FDIC named Arleas Upton Kea deputy to the chairman and COO, and Arthur Murton deputy to the chairman for policy.

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