Tuesday, October 21, 2008

$25 million for two months???

Peter Kraus, head of strategy at Merrill, won't be included in a broader announcement expected as soon as this week about which top executives are staying once the purchase is completed by year end, these people said. As a result of the takeover, terms of Mr. Kraus's contract have changed and will trigger the exit payment. Mr. Kraus was owed this money and would have collected it eventually had he stayed with Merrill, one person familiar with the contract said. He could leave with as much as $25 million.

Mr. Kraus, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive who started at Merrill in early September, was recruited by John Thain, the CEO of Merrill. Put in charge of growth-and-acquisitions strategy, Mr. Kraus wound up advising Mr. Thain on gloomier options as Merrill was battered by market turmoil. This included a possible sale of a piece of Merrill to Goldman Sachs and the firm's eventual sale to Bank of America, based in Charlotte, N.C.

So taxpayers, help pick up his tab from another Goldman alumni. Don't think there won't be outrage on this!

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