Boutique investment bank Gleacher & Co. has 20 new openings in its credit-trading group, but beware: the jobs aren’t being created from growth. Nearly two dozen traders quit Gleacher amid news that it has abandoned plans to find a merger partner, despite the fact that the firm is coming off a disastrous year when it lost $78 million.
Gleacher acknowledged the losses in a regulatory filing issued on Wednesday, and said it will look to fill the seats by adding employees who remain in the credit products group and by recruiting outsiders, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The departures are expected to hurt short-term revenue totals at a time when the firm can least afford additional losses. Gleacher’s credit trading business, the department that experienced the exodus of talent, accounted for the bulk of its revenue last year. The firm just announced a worse-than-expected fourth-quarter loss on Friday, sending shares tumbling to $0.69, a drop of over 26% since Thursday. And its founder, Eric J. Gleacher, walked away from the firm in January.
Gleacher gave up plans to merge with another company – or sell itself outright – after six months of putting out feelers with few bites. “They don’t seem to be able to give it away,” said one source with close ties to the firm. A Gleacher spokesperson declined to comment on the departures and the firm’s hiring plans.
Without a lifeline – and with losses mounting – one would have to wonder about Gleacher’s future. The only good news, if you can call it that, is that Gleacher handed out cash bonuses last year to keep its executives from jumping ship. The firm’s compensation and benefit expenses accounted for nearly 82% of total revenue last year, a massive and frankly unsustainable number.
Separation of Power (24/7)
J.P. Morgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon may soon lose his title as chairman if a group of powerful investors still peeved with the bank’s $6 billion trading loss have their way. A major public employee union and a group of pension funds that control more than 16 million shares have asked the bank to name an independent chairman.
Lifetime Ban (NY Post)
Two directors of the National Futures Association are aiming to bar disgraced former MF Global CEO John Corzine from the futures trading industry, a move that could hamper the former New Jersey governor’s reported plans to launch his own hedge fund.
Recruiting Moms (WSJ)
Consulting firm McKinsey & Co. has reportedly launched an unofficial initiative to recruit female employees who left the workforce years ago. Goldman Sachs’ returnship program offers similar opportunities.
Chad Leat, vice chairman of global banking at Citigroup, is retiring after 16 years with the firm. His role is not expected to be filled.
Healthy Pay Raise (Bloomberg)
Bank of America chief executive Brian Moynihan received a 70% bump in total compensation for 2012. Moynihan will receive more than $12 million in salary and bonuses for last year.
Not Impressed (eFinancialCareers)
A Goldman Sachs analyst believes Barclays’ restructuring plan is essentially over-optimistic tinkering and will need to be revisited.
Buzz Around the Office
Weekend at Sergei’s (BBC)
Complain all you want about the U.S. justice system. At least we don’t try dead guys. The tax evasion trial of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in 2009, is set to begin in Russia in the first week of March.
List of the Day: Making Amends
Made a huge mistake at work? Here’s what you should do next. Former UBS rogue trader Kweku Adoboli probably should have read this article.
- Fess up.
- Offer to do the cleanup.
- Don’t dwell on it after the fact. Learn from it.