Every now and then when you get too enthusiastic about the ability of activist hedge funds and private equity to reign in abusive C-levels, it’s good to remember stories like this. Sometimes even the smart money gets taken to the cleaners.
The chief executive installed by agitating hedge funds to run BKF Capital Group was among the senior executives to get a fat severance package to walk away from the carnage at the once high-profile New York money manager.
BKF, which was de-listed from the New York Stock Exchange Nov. 1, recently announced that its financial condition was so grave that the chief executive and financial officers agreed "to voluntarily resign" to "conserve cash." The Rockefeller Center-based firm filed papers with the SEC that shows there's plenty of cash left for generous exit packages.
Departing CEO John Siciliano - hired with fanfare in the summer of 2005 - is getting a $950,000 severance payment. Better still, he will receive $300,000 for as yet unspecified "certain consulting services."
CFO J. Clarke Gray will also get a $400,000 cash severance and collect a $183,000 yearend bonus for 2006.
CKF Chutzpah [New York Post]