Skip to main content

Former Lehman Trader Still Waiting On His $83 Million Bonus Will Give You The Names And Numbers Of Scores Of Hedge Funds That Would Give Him A Job Right Now, No Questions Asked

He'll give you some choice (secret) recordings of bonus conversations he held with senior executives as well.
  • Author:
  • Updated:

Remember Jonathan Hoffman? To recap, he's a former Lehman Brothers trader who later became a Barclays trader, who was paid $83 million upon joining the British bank. And while that's fine and dandy, according to Hoffman, he's actually owed an additional $83 million, because the one he got was paid by Barclays as part of a new contract he signed upon joining the firm. Unfortunately, the way the Lehman trustee sees it, Barclays never hired Hoffman per se, but simply took him on the way they took on other Lehman employees. Appearing in court today, Hoffman argued that Lehman does in fact owe him his god damn money because 1. He's got the tapes to prove it and 2. He actively considered his options elsewhere, of which there were many, and ultimately chose Barclays as his new employer, with whom he worked out a separate contract from Lehman.

Testifying on the second day of a trial over whether Lehman owes its ex-employees bonus money, former top global rates trader Jonathan Hoffman said he taped the conversations as a note-taking method, without telling parties he was recording them. In a negotiation with Rich Ricci, then the operating chief of Barclays’s investment bank, Mr. Hoffman told Mr. Ricci, “I guess I’m surprised that my contract isn’t just being made whole,” according to a recording of the 2008 conversation played in the courtroom Thursday...Mr. Hoffman made nearly $550 million in profits for Lehman during 2008, and his trading represented 10% of the bank’s total profit during 2007. So when Lehman collapsed, Barclays wasn’t his only option, he said. Earlier in the day, his lawyer, White & Case LLP’s Douglas Baumstein, asked about a meeting Mr. Hoffman had with Kenneth Griffin’s Citadel LLC, a well-known Chicago-based hedge fund. “Were you confident you could get an offer from Citadel,” Mr. Baumstein asked. “I’m still confident I could get an offer from Citadel,” Mr. Hoffman replied.

Call Ken Griffin right now. He'll back it up.

Former Trader Says Taped Conversations Show Lehman Owes Him Bonus [WSJ]


Man Who Got $83 Million Bonus And Wanted Another $83 Million Bonus Just Can't Catch A Break

Lehman Brothers alum Jonathan Hoffman knows what we're talking about.

Deferring 'Significant' Amounts Of Compensation, Placing Caps On Bonuses Not Working Out So Well For Barclays

Only in that senior people the bank worked hard to recruit are quitting en masse. Otherwise, it's great. Barclays spent a decade assembling a team of the most successful gas and power traders in Europe. It took less than 16 months to lose most of them. Mercuria Energy Trading SA, based in Geneva, hired five members from the group of about a dozen from March 2011 to June this year, including Phil Sutterby as head of U.K. and European gas and Roger Jones, the former global chief of commodities, according to people with knowledge of the moves. Another six left for companies including UBS, Noble Group Ltd. and Freepoint Commodities LLC. The departures from the U.K.’s second-biggest bank reflect bonus caps, limits on the amount of money traders can risk and shrinking revenue from the division that includes commodities. While hiring from hedge funds and rival lenders helped Barclays catch up with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley in commodity derivatives, according to Greenwich Associates, a focus on deferred pay left the bank vulnerable to headhunters. “The significant amount of deferred compensation and the aggressive cap on cash payouts at Barclays has unsettled a number of individuals,” said Peter Henry, New York-based head of front-office research at Commodity Search Partners. “Add to that the fact they have been systematically targeted by privately held trading houses, specifically Mercuria, and it’s fairly understandable why senior traders are leaving.” Bonus Limits Spark Exodus At Barclays Trading Unit [Bloomberg]

Everybody Give It Up For Lehman Brothers!

"We are proud to announce Lehman's exit from chapter 11 and entrance into the final stage of this process -- distributions to creditors. Our objective remains to provide the best results possible for creditors -- by continuing to strategically position assets to produce strong values, to pursue the resolution of disputed claims and other matters in litigation, and to manage expenses in line with the asset disposition process," said John Suckow, who is managing director with bankruptcy adviser Alvarez & Marsal and Lehman's president and COO. Suckow also thanked Lehman employees for working "diligently" since the bank's collapse in September 2008 to reach the milestone. [NYP]