( – promoted by buhdydharma )
Lazard Ltd, formerly known as Lazard Frères, gave away the “store” in bonuses to its employees to the tune of $565,000 per person. Lazard, unlike Goldman “Sacks” and other Wall St. investment agencies, did not receive any bail out money.
The firm doled out $616 million in compensation and benefits to about 2,300 employees last quarter, or more than triple the amount handed out in the same period in 2008. It was a consequence, Lazard said, of a decision to pay more bonuses in cash and accelerate some deferred cash awards from a prior year. But so great was the firm’s generosity that compensation costs overwhelmed quarterly revenues and resulted in a net loss of about $55 million for the fourth quarter. The charges also almost wiped out full-year profits.
The explanation for this rapacious give away from Lazard’s Chief Executive Kenneth Jacobs rang just a little hollow
[Our compensation policies] should enhance our competitiveness and drive shareholder value,” Mr. Jacobs said, in a prepared statement. “Our goal is to grow annual compensation expense at a slower rate than revenues
The investor’s were just a little miffed
Investors weren’t happy, driving Lazard’s stock down by about 3% in midday trading.
h/t tigerwater @ FDL