While former UBS executives are forgoing compensation, and Goldman Sachs, among other companies, aren’t issuing bonuses, Merrill’s chief and ex-NYSE CEO John Thain is asking for more money: a bonus in the amount of $10 million. Surprisingly, the devastated securities firm is none too pleased. Yet they did reconvene yesterday to reconsider his request.
Maybe Thain is thinking, what’s $10 million when the firm as a whole has lost $11.67 billion over the last year? And they’re on the cusp of being acquired by Bank of America, which presumably saves the company billions more, in part, thanks to Thain's leadership.
Upon arriving at Merrill in 2007, Thain received a $15 million cash bonus and a pay package in the range of $50 to $120 million over several years. Since Thain only makes $750,000 right now, his request for a bonus, by Wall Street standards, is reasonable. But what is reason in a recession?
By Janine Armin
Corporate Secretary magazine