Merrill Lynch's Kraus to get hefty buyout - WSJ
Oct 21 (Reuters) - A top executive at Merrill Lynch & Co Inc MER.N, which last month accepted a takeover offer from Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), is likely to leave with more than $10 million in compensation, people familiar with the situation told the Wall Street Journal.
Merrill's strategy head and former Goldman Sachs (GS.N) executive, Peter Kraus, will not be included in a broader announcement, expected as soon as this week, that top executives are staying once the purchase is completed by year-end, sources told the paper.
As a result of the takeover, terms of Kraus's contract have changed and will trigger an exit payment, the Journal said. Sources told the paper that Kraus was owed this money and would have collected it eventually even if he was staying with bank, and would now leave with as much as $25 million.
Kraus will also not be affected by a provision in the government's rescue plan that curbs executive compensation, sources told the Journal.
Those restrictions cover the chief executive officer, chief financial officer and three other highest-paid executives of the firm, the paper said.
Merrill could not be immediately reached for comment.
The news of Kraus's possible exit comes a day after unidentified sources told Bloomberg News that Merrill will be cutting 500 jobs in its trading divisions. Merrill Chief Executive John Thain told the news service in a television interview that the bank needs to cut thousands of jobs because he expects a global recession next year. (Reporting by Shradhha Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Ben Tan)
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