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Jefferies Announces Immediate ALL CASH Bonuses

Dec. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Jefferies Group Inc., the investment bank that agreed to sell itself to Leucadia National Corp., said it will pay year-end bonuses in immediately available cash.

Not something you see very often.

Management thinks the stock is too valuable to give to employees.

“It is no secret that virtually every one of our bank holding company competitors is forcing onto their employees extremely high levels of non-cash compensation with long vesting periods or compensation in the form of cash to be received well into the future,” Handler and Friedman wrote. “You can’t spend non-cash compensation or unpaid cash to buy a home, purchase groceries, invest in your life or help out friends and family.”


Several companies have caught on the special dividend craze, deciding to return money to shareholders ahead of what could end up being a terrible fiscal cliff outcome.  Jefferies took that to the next level, promising immediate all-cash bonuses for 2012 on Monday, according to media reports. The move comes in the first trading day after having announced its own special dividend.

The 2012 bonuses were announced to employees in an internal memo by chief executive Richard Handler and picked up by Bloomberg.  No further details have been released.

Jefferies joined several firms in announcing a special dividend last week.  On Friday, the company unveiled a $0.075 per share quarterly dividend payable on December 31.  Big companies including Costco, Oracle, Las Vegas Sands, and HCA have all done the same in order to get ahead of a possible hike in dividend taxes.  In several of these cases, the firms are not only returning capital to shareholders, but rewarding billionaire founders and executives, as my colleague Edwin Durgy reported.

But Jefferies seems to be going one step further.  Beyond returning capital to shareholders, Jefferies is rewarding its employees with all-cash bonuses ahead of any possible tax hikes.  Jefferies appears to be delivering for its employees despite difficult times in Wall Street, with several major banks having announced major job cuts over the past few years including Citigroup, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley, as Halah Touryalai explained.

Sources - Forbes, Bloomberg


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Reader Comments (3)

History is replete with this type of action. Drexel Burnham Lambert gave bonuses of about $270 million in the late 80's, then a few months later went bankrupt citing debts of about the same amount. Nobody went to jail.
Dec 12, 2012 at 5:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterHistory Lesson
I remember Drexel well. Had friends who worked there.
Dec 12, 2012 at 6:20 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Jefferies also is extending so-called garden leave, the period workers must wait before joining competitors, Chief Executive Officer Richard Handler and executive committee Chairman Brian Friedman said in a Dec. 7 staff memo.

Paying immediate cash sets Jefferies apart from some competitors as Wall Street seeks to curb compensation costs. Morgan Stanley capped 2011 cash bonuses at $125,000 and deferred an average of 75 percent of payouts, up from 40 percent two years earlier. Zurich-based Credit Suisse Group AG awarded a portion of 2011 bonuses for more than 6,000 bankers in bonds backed by derivatives that will pay out over several years.

Dec 12, 2012 at 6:22 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail

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