Lehman paid $700m to 50 top staff before crash


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The Independent Online

Lehman Brothers paid senior executives millions of dollars in the run-up to its collapse in 2008, new documents reveal.

The documents, which have emerged in ongoing bankruptcy proceedings, show the bank paid almost $700m to 50 of its executives in 2007. Robert Millard, who ran the bank's "global trading strategies" group, was in line to receive $51.3m, while chief executive, Dick Fuld, had a financial package worth $40m.

The news comes amid the shareholder backlash against executive pay at Barclays and Citigroup. Almost a third of shareholders at Barclays failed to back the bank's remuneration report and reacted angrily to the £17m pay package awarded to chief executive Bob Diamond. The bank handed out £2.1bn in staff bonuses last year – far exceeding the £700m it paid in dividends to shareholders.

The Lehman documents showed that the bank was unaware a crash was coming and instead had asked its compensation committee to allow more money to be paid to retain and hire top-level employees.