You can’t make this shit up.
I have an idea for a great new slogan for Lazard Ltd.
Lazard Ltd. Invest with us so we can steal your profits for ourselves.
What should have been a profitable quarter a Lazard Ltd. turned into a surprising loss due to the investment bank paying its people big bonuses.
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.
Oh, and the investors are just “not happy”.
Investors weren’t happy, driving Lazard’s stock down by about 3% in midday trading.
Not happy? Apparently, investors haven’t learned that “Not Happy” means nothing.They should be storming that place with pitchforks and torches.
And of course, their CEO claims he “had” to do this to retain all those fabulous high-performance employees who have done such stellar job. That must be why their earnings are$185 million less than they were in 2008. Apparently, great employees who tank earnings are at a premium these days.
For all of 2009, Lazard had $11 million in earnings, down sharply from the prior year’s $196 million. Total compensation costs for all of 2009 were a little over $1.3 billion, or an average $565,000 per employee.
Gee. If the past is any barometer, this company seems like a prime candidate for a Ben Bernanke Bailout.
I rest my case.
Filed under: Uncategorized |