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.