Windfalls for Wall Street Executives Taking Jobs in Government
SUSANNE CRAIG Writes in http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/03/21/financial-windfalls-for-wall-st-executives-taking-government-jobs/ :
“Banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, all have provisions that allow acceleration of payments owed to senior executives if they take government jobs, a new study finds.
Such a benefit was highlighted recently during the confirmation hearing for Jacob J. Lew as Treasury secretary. His previous employer, Citigroup, had guaranteed him preferential financial treatment if he were to leave to take a job in the government. When Mr. Lew left Citigroup he held stock that he could not immediately cash worth as much as $500,000, according to a government filing.”
Thomas R. Nides, for example, left Morgan Stanley in 2010 to join the Obama administration as deputy secretary of state for management and resources. He sold shares of Morgan Stanley at the time, disclosing to the government that the firm allowed him to cash out his shares ahead of schedule.
Mr. Nides, who received at least $5 million because of a stock acceleration, recently left government to return to Morgan Stanley as vice chairman. A Morgan Stanley spokesman declined to comment on the issue.
At Goldman, at least one of its compensation plans allows for a lump sum cash payment for certain stock grants that have been awarded but have not yet vested, according to a regulatory filing.
At least one of its former executives, Robert D. Hormats, received special financial treatment on some of his holdings, according to a government filing. Mr. Hormats, under secretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment, wrote to the government upon taking that position that “Goldman Sachs will accelerate and pay out my restricted stock units, pursuant to written company policy.”
Those payments are allowed. In 1990, the Supreme Court ruled that Boeing was within its rights to make lump sum severance payments to several employees when they quit Boeing to take senior military posts.
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