We spend a lot of talkin' BAC/MER, but what of fall's other forced marriage? We know it's resulted in a least a handful of layoffs and one dead puppy, but how is it making people feel? Apparently not so good (unless you're on top)! After the jump, a Barclette gets emotional.
I went to a Barclays town hall meeting tonight, the first post-integration of its kind. Tom Humphrey, head of U.S. distribution, addressed the Barclays-Lehman combined salesforce for the first time. I wet my pants listening to this guy extol the virtues of the combined firms, and liken himself to Burt Reynolds.
First, Tom Humphrey came to Barclays with a 2yr, $20mm contract. it is freakin' hilarious that he is telling the legacy Barclays people that we should drop the cynicism and move toward optimism. if he is truly the leader of a combined salesforce, why doesn't he defer his compensation thru 2012 like the Barclays people? Barclays bought a firm out of bankruptcy, paid these people exorbitant contracts (100% of 2007 numbers) for five months of service and deferred Barclays comp. Barclays people were down over 50% and then had 50% of that deferred. i guess i should be optimistic.
Second, Humphrey talked about upper management working so hard to integrate. also a total joke. Lehman people hate Barclays and Barclays people hate the fact that comp wont be realized until 2012. management is working hard: working hard to pay themselves a secret bonus thru bgi. just ask bob diamond.
Third, Humphrey was talking about our combined position of strength. has he noticed the stock price? the adr is $4. the stock is down 90% over the last year. Barclays and Lehman are like two drunks trying to hold one another up. strength?
It was the first time i was at the new building. the whole feel of it with the time-square scrolling ticker and flashing light is so amateurish. it feels like we are trying to outdo the TGI Friday's across the street. how about some humility with a $4 stock price?
To close the presentation, this guy tried to make a joke about the Barclays-Lehman integration: that it was being made into a movie. he cast his boss--some hair-helmeted, George-Washington-toothed wannabe as Al Pacino, some french empty suit as Jerry Lewis, some bald, fat, bespectacled commodities manager as George Castanza and himself as Burt Reynolds. would you want this cast of characters running a sales organization? frankly, I didn't find any of it funny. it was a lame attempt at humor. hopefully, when I collect the remainder of my money due me in 2012, Humphrey can learn better material. In the meantime, he is laughing all the way to the Hamptons with his $20mm contract. just think, five months ago he was wiped out with his firm going bankrupt, no salary, no benefits, no pension. apparently, $20mm gives you amnesia.
The final note of the presentation was a Winston Churchill quote: "a pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty."