Skip to main content

Bonus Watch '12: Jefferies Offers Employees Sophie's Choice

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Tough calls.

Jefferies, whose stock dropped by almost half in 2011, gave employees a choice when paying the stock-based portion of their annual bonuses: take the firm’s shares, or accept cash at a 25 percent discount. The offer to convert stock awards into payouts boosted cash-compensation expense by $17.5 million, the New York-based firm said in an annual financial report. It didn’t say how many employees opted for cash, and Richard Khaleel, a company spokesman, declined to elaborate.



Bonus Watch '12: Jefferies Has Got Your Cold Hard Cash Right Here

Back in the day, as in pre-crisis, bonus season on Wall Street was a happy time. Sure, you still had your miserable pricks who would bitch and moan about the fact that they hadn't gotten as much as the guy who sat next to them, even they the guy who sat next to them was a "non-contributing zero who wouldn't recognize alpha if it bit him in the ass," but prior to to fall 2008, anyone who was unhappy about his or her bonus was a) quibbling over receiving a huge sum of money instead of an imperial fuck-ton of money and b) in a position to actually make good on a threat to jump ship, since firms were hiring. Now, with a few exceptions, bonus season makes people feel sad. Angry. Impotent. Like the world is out to get them. Not only has the total amount of one's bonus come down, but many companies have decreased the cash portion, while increasing the deferral period on stock to, in some cases, almost half a decade. Then you have Jefferies. Last year it let employees decide between an all stock bonus or an all cash bonus with 25% lopped off.  This year the investment bank-cum-butcher shop isn't even forcing anyone to choose, instead dumping a bag of cash on everyone's desk and reminding them who loves 'em.

Bonus Watch '13: Jefferies CEOs

Dick Handler ended up doing pretty okay for himself.