Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Merrill Buyout: Thain and Montag might make $32,800/hr.

OK, the damage was done long before these jokers got hired but come on!

Between the two of them they put in 10 months work, lets be kind and say they worked 70 hour weeks (I doubt it!). Thain then would have around 2800 hours into the company and Montag would have aroundy 280 hours. That would be about 47 million for 3080 hours or $15,260 per hour! It appears that is on top of 54 million the two stand to collect in bonus pay. That brings us up to about $32,800 per hour per man! There may be additional stock values that each will receive, the whole article is worth a read! (Some of this value is based on the future value of Bank of America's share price but the calculations provided are based on its current price and the article is not entirely clear (or I may misuderstand it) if any of the 54 million is included in the 47 million figure.)

Also note that previously Thain was C.O.O. to Henry Paulson's C.E.O. at Goldman. Treasury Secretary Paulson's involvment in the brief and "successful" talks between Merrill and Bank of America most likely helped Thain to ink this deal. Will Paulson be working at BOA next year? Inquiring minds want to know.

Excerpts from Jonathan Keehner and Bradley Keoun writing for Bloomberg.com: Worldwide follow.

Sept. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Merrill Lynch & Co. Chief Executive Officer John Thain and trading-division head Thomas Montag may reap payouts totaling more than $47 million if they leave or are given lesser roles after Bank of America Corp. buys the firm.

Thain, hired last December following the ouster of Stan O'Neal, stands to collect about $11 million on the vesting of free shares if he doesn't stay after the sale, said Graef Crystal, a Santa Rosa, California-based compensation consultant. Montag, who joined in August and is a former colleague of Thain's from Goldman Sachs Group Inc., would get $30 million in accelerated stock awards and at least $6.4 million in options if he's dismissed or his duties are diminished after a change of control, Crystal said.


Since Dec. 1 of last year, Thain's first day, the shares have fallen about 70 percent, as writedowns on devalued mortgage holdings eroded the company's financial results.


Any payouts triggered by a change in control are on top of a $15 million signing bonus awarded to Thain last December and a guaranteed $39 million bonus Montag is due to get in January for his work in 2008.


``This isn't necessarily the outcome I would have expected when I took this job,'' Thain said. He said his future role at the combined company hasn't been decided.


(THAIN) was president and chief operating officer at New York-based Goldman, where he served under then-CEO Henry Paulson. Now U.S. Treasury secretary, Paulson helped to lead a weekend of discussions during which Bank of America initially weighed a bid for Lehman.

Thain said Merrill's talks with Bank of America began on the morning of Sept. 13. The deal was done by nightfall the next day.

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