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This selection of '2nd tier' bankers is about to become unfeasibly rich

Bad luck. If you've spent the past few years slaving away in a major investment bank, willing your deferred stock bonuses to rise in value, urging your boss to maintain your salary and sometimes fantasizing about possibly downsizing to a smallholding in Wales, you've missed out. All the while, a group of people from a lesser known firm has been amassing a small fortune in restricted stock and stock options and is now ready to cash-in. Big time.

The people in question work for Markit, the financial services information company. Markit is said to have hired Goldman Sachs to conduct an IPO which could see it valued at anything from $4bn-$5bn.

Markit declined to comment for this article - both on the rumoured IPO and on who stands to gain as result. The company is majority owned by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Bank of America. Private equity firm General Atlantic also owns a stake, along with Temasek, the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund. However, some individuals are also likely to do very (very) well from Markit's listing.

The most recently filed results for Markit Group Holdings, covering the year ending December 2011, show that Markit has lavished restricted stock and options upon some of its (then) 2,400 employees. In the years between 2004 and 2011, Markit employees amassed 3.1m share options with vesting dates stretching until 2018.  In 2011, an additional 191,907 restricted shares were expensed under a restricted share plan for Markit staff.

It's not clear from the results who at Markit received these shares and options. We spoke to one former vice president who worked at Markit for five years and who told us he had no knowledge of stock being issued to people there - suggesting the beneficiaries were mostly very senior staff. Among the Markit big-men, the major stock recipients will almost certainly have been the co-founders Lance Uggla - the chief executive, Rony Grushka - the CFO, and Kevin Gould - the president.

Before starting Markit in 2001, Grushka was a chartered accountant. Both Uggla and Gould worked for Canadian bank TD Securities, where Uggla was head of Europe and Asia and Gould was head of fixed income in Europe. LinkedIn suggests that Markit currently employs - and has employed in the past - a variety of other ex-TD Securities staff globally. These include Trevor Hill, the current head of organisational development, Shane Akeroyd the global head of sales, and Rajeev Syal, the global head of HR.

TD Securities isn't typically grouped in with the most prestigious bulge bracket banking firms. Quietly, therefore, a group of employees from a Canadian bank have spent the past 12 years building a very successful, very profitable business and now seem very ready to reap the rewards. On this basis, big name bankers who've spent the past decade safely ensconced in prestigious firms may have made a mistake.-  Markit has been the place to be. The company is still hiring and expanding, but anyone who joins this close to the IPO is unlikely to make millions as a result.

Related articles:

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Goldman Sachs lures insecure overachievers, says ex-Goldman trader 

Six finance roles where double digit pay rises are still possible.

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Ku
    28 June 2013

    30% plus of any awards over 2004-2012 will have been to Uggla. Even though Gould is no. 2 he will have received less than 5%. These rest will have been spread surprisingly widely amongst others - even pre-IPO Martit has created dozens of millionaires from liquidity events including the recent sale to Temasek, which was not a cash injection but a sale by existing shareholders including staff. Millionaires include Uggla's former personal assistant who was there from the very start. Uggla may be have been very generous to himself relative to his other senior execs, but in his own way he is surprisingly generous to the larger body of his staff as well.

    All this said, Gould, Grusjka and a handful of other founders who have all now left Markit got most of their stock at the foundation date in 2003, not from subsequent awards, and these, other than Uggla, are the main beneficiaries.

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