Unstructured Finance

Lehman staffers clog banks’ hiring pipelines

lehman-man-2.jpgWall Street banks are seeing a glut of resumes from Lehman Brothers, as staff there are contacting colleagues at other firms directly to find new jobs after their investment bank went bankrupt. Some banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Credit Suisse, have told headhunting firms looking to find jobs for former Lehman Brothers employees that they will not pay the firms for putting them in touch with these job candidates, because they are already inundated with direct applications.

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, which filed for bankruptcy last week, has 26,000 employees. About 10,000 have been given jobs through at least the end of the year, after Barclays Capital bought Lehman’s North American capital markets business and other assets.

Headhunting firms said they are receiving scores of resumes from anxious former Lehman employees, but banks aren’t interested in paying headhunters to interview these staffers.

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Nomura moves to lock in Lehman’s Asia group

nomura.jpgHONG KONG, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nomura Holdings plans to match last year’s bonus pool for Lehman Brothers’ Asia group, according to sources familiar with the matter, in an effort to prevent Lehman bankers from leaving.

The move is also aimed at showing Nomura’s commitment to Lehman bankers, who are still reeling from the collapse of the 158-year old New York institution.

The exact size of the bonus pool and exactly who is entitled to it is unclear, with top performers expected to get first claim.

Opinion: Demand for displaced bankers will still exist

John A. Challenger is chief executive officer of global outplacement and business coaching consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. The opinions expressed here are his own.

challenger.jpgThe turmoil that is shaking Wall Street to its core could eventually go down as the worst financial crisis in American history. We are already hearing comparisons of the current situation to the bank failures and stock market crash that ignited the Great Depression in the 1930s.

While we will have to wait to see the full historical impact of the credit market collapse on the economy, one thing is already certain: the crisis has reaped a heavy toll on financial sector jobs, leaving tens of thousands unemployed and with little hope of re-employment in the same line of work.

Bankers turn philanthropists in search of a job

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LONDON (Reuters) – A wave of job cuts in the wake of the financial markets meltdown is causing hundreds of City bankers to turn to UK charities in search of work.

Charities are keen to hire the former star bankers to help them raise funds and are able to pay better salaries than in the past, said forum3, a recruitment agency.

“Charities need good quality skills, the right attitude … it is an increasingly professional sector,” Deborah Hockham, a director at forum3, told Reuters.

Offshore drilling eclipsed by Wall St. debacle

 

John McCain’s crowd-pleasing chants of “drill here, drill now” and “drill baby, drill” seem like distant echoes of a quainter time — before the debacle on Wall Street.

America’s quarter-of-a century ban on offshore drilling officially ended Tuesday but the focus on expanding exploration and the concern over surging oil and other commodity prices are being swept away by the financial tsunami in the broader economy.

Congress was inundated with a raft of energy bills but it is probable most will fall by the wayside as lawmakers deal with the $700 billion bailout later this week.

Do you multi-channel?

best-buy.jpgShoppers hunting for consumer electronics are the most likely to visit both brick-and-mortar stores and the Internet while deciding which product to buy, according to a new study.

The IBM Global Business Services study of consumers in both the United States and United Kingdom found that multi-channel shoppers, or people who regularly participate in more than one method of shopping, are usually looking for apparel, accessories, footwear, home improvement items and appliances, in addition to electronics.

The study found that more than 75 percent of multi-channel shoppers tend to research products online and then visit a store to make a purchase. Around 7 percent went from visiting a store to purchasing online, and 3 percent moved from online browsing to ordering through a call center. 

Hostile deals are popular in techland

bull1.jpgBailouts and shotgun weddings might be the order of the day for financial institutions, but among tech companies, hostile deals continue to win the popularity stakes. The fact that this year’s biggest hostile tech deals have failed to produce mergers — think Microsoft-Yahoo, Electronic Arts-Take Two, Cadence-Mentor – has done little to curb appetites for unsolicitied deals, which have hit record levels in the U.S.

Shareholder activism too has been on the rise, beginning with hedge fund Jana Partners’ agitation to pull CNET Networks out of its stupor — which eventually led to CBS snapping up the company best known for its tech news site. Smaller companies like Micrel and Asyst Technologies, too, have had to fend off dissident shareholders, although those stories got short shrift given the gargantuan activist-shareholder angle in Microsoft-Yahoo, courtesy Carl Icahn.

Then, there are two ongoing hostiles: Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung’s $5.8 billion unsolicited offer for flash memory maker SanDisk and Vishay Intertechnology’s $1.7 billion offer for International Rectifier. SanDisk has rejected Samsung’s offer as being too low.

MAC clauses – strange animals indeed

moose.jpgMAC clauses have long been controversial in deals. But in a ruling out of Delaware last night on the hotly disputed Huntsman transaction, they took on a life of their own.

“… material adverse effect clauses are strange animals, sui generis among their contract clause brethren,” an opinion from Judge Lamb stated. “It is by no means clear to this court that the form in which a material adverse effect clause is drafted (i.e., as a representation, or warranty, or a condition to closing), absent more specific evidence regarding the intention of the parties, should be dispositive on the allocation of the burden of proof.”

The clause allows a buyer to terminate a deal if a material adverse change, or effect, has occured. But lawyers have in the past argued that a high bar is set on MAC clauses by courts. The Huntsman opinion only reinforces that.

Check Out Line: Halloween spending not so spooky!

halloween.jpgCheck Out more people escaping the troubled U.S. economy by turning themselves, their children and their pets into ghosts and goblins.

More than 64 percent of people plan to celebrate Halloween this year, up from nearly 59 percent last year, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual Halloween survey.

The average person plans to spend $66.54 on Halloween this year, up from $64.82 last year, said the NRF. Consumers on average will spend $24.17 on costumes, $20.39 on candy,  $18.25 on decorations and $3.73 on greeting cards. 

Buyers’ Market

A trader stands outside the New York Stock Exchange September 29, 2008. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES)A good meltdown never fails to bring out the bargain hunters. With congress celebrating the Jewish New Year, no deal on a bailout package can emerge before tomorrow at the earliest. And yesterday’s setback has sparked plenty of talk that agreement will be harder to achieve than thought over the weekend. Now uncertainty rules the markets and the rolloercoaster is gaining speed. What’s a bargain hunter to do? 
 
In London, shares of HBOS tanked more than 20 percent as talk swirled that Lloyds TSB would seek a lower price for its accepted takeover of the struggling British lender. Lloyds’ shares rose more than 3 percent. The longer it takes, and the more uncertainty that plagues the market, the better the case becomes for buyers of distressed rivals to renegotiate their deals. Buyers looking for better prices can easily point to changing circumstances to make their case.
 
Overnight, a Delaware chancery court judge ruled against private equity firm Apollo Management, which had been trying to walk away from a deal to buy Huntsman because, claiming Material Adverse Conditions had made its offer for the specialty chemicals group untenable. Maybe they should have, as the judge suggested, appeared more willing to deal. 

* Nippon Steel said it will boost its stake in affiliate Topy Industries to up to 20 percent as it aims to expand output of high-grade steel and push realignment in the fragmented construction steel industry. 

* Brokerage house Daiwa Securities and loss-making fund management firm Pacific Holdings said global market turmoil had kept them from completing a deal for Daiwa to buy into Pacific Holdings. 

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