Bonus season got a little better for some senior investment bankers at Lazard the other day. They're going to get to sell some of the stock they got in the firm's IPO early, in an attempt to make up for smaller bonsues that had some grumbling, especially since chief executive Bruce Wasserstein was getting ricer than ever.
After hearing his troops grouse about paltry pay deals, Lazard boss Bruce Wasserstein is letting a select group of wealthy investment bankers sell some of its stock in the firm sooner than originally planned.
Lazard is allowing some current and former managing directors, who have been with the firm since before its initial public offering, to sell about 10 percent of their total holdings in an upcoming secondary offering that was announced yesterday.
Before the offering, most Lazard bankers couldn't begin selling their shares until 2008, but sources inside the firm as well as former bankers said bonuses have gone down since the IPO, and the firm has gone through several rounds of layoffs.
Since the IPO, Lazard's overall compensation has gone up along with the firm's revenues, but that hasn't stopped some senior bankers from grumbling about getting paid less than the rest of Wall Street.
Currently, Lazard's compensation is about 57 percent of its total revenue, on par with other investment banks, but down from 70 percent before the firm's IPO last year.
Top Lazard Bankers Get To Cash Out Shares [New York Post]