He was the House majority leader until he lost in a stunning primary defeat to a Tea Party challenger.
But defeat likely isn’t stinging Eric Cantor too badly, since an old pal on Wall Street has stepped in to give him a job — and $3.4 million in compensation.
Ken Moelis, founder of the “boutique investment firm” Moelis & Co., is bringing Cantor on board and giving him offices in Washington, D.C., and New York City, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday night.
What exactly will Cantor do for the bank?
From the Journal:
At Moelis, Mr. Cantor will help the firm, which was formed in 2007 and has offices overseas, compete for business and advise corporate and investor clients on takeovers and other deals.
Mr. Moelis said he is hiring Mr. Cantor for his “judgment and experience” and ability to open doors—and not just for help navigating regulatory and political waters in Washington. Still, expertise in such matters is likely to be valuable given how heavily they can weigh on the minds of corporate executives contemplating deals.
“I have no need for a political figurehead,” Mr. Moelis said. “What I want is a partner.”
Moelis may say Cantor has merits beyond his political connections, but the Journal noted that Cantor “has long been seen as a liaison of sorts between the GOP and Wall Street” and that he raised “nearly $1.4 million from financial firms and their employees” between 2012 and 2014.
Cantor’s services don’t come cheap, as Moelis’ Securities and Exchange Commission filing reveals:
Mr. Cantor will also serve as Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Moelis & Company Group LP (“Group LP”) pursuant to an employment agreement. Either Group LP or Mr. Cantor may terminate the agreement at any time with or without cause.
Group LP has agreed to pay Mr. Cantor an annual base salary of $400,000. Group LP has also agreed to pay Mr. Cantor an initial cash amount of $400,000 and grant Mr. Cantor $1,000,000 in initial restricted stock units (“RSUs”), based on the average closing price of the Company’s common stock on the five trading days prior to his start date. The initial RSUs will generally vest in equal installments on each of the third, fourth and fifth anniversaries of his start date.
For calendar year 2015, Group LP has agreed to pay Mr. Cantor minimum incentive compensation of $1,200,000 in cash and $400,000 in incentive RSUs, payable in equal quarterly installments. The incentive RSUs will generally have the same vesting schedule as incentive RSUs granted to Group LP’s other Managing Directors.
All told, Cantor will get a $400,000 annual salary, $1.4 million in signing bonuses and a minimum of $1.6 million in “incentive compensation”: $3.4 million for his “judgment and experience.”
As the Journal noted, Cantor and Moelis have known one another for a while:
Messrs. Moelis and Cantor, who have known each other for more than three years, began discussing the possibility of working together shortly before July Fourth, Mr. Cantor said. They were having brunch with their wives in Los Angeles and Mr. Moelis, also a Republican, was giving Mr. Cantor career advice when it occurred to him that the two should work together.
UPDATE: Niger Innis, the executive director of TheTeaParty.net, had this to say in an emailed statement:
Eric Cantor is now cashing in on his government service in the most unseemly of ways. This is the nexus of Wall Street and Washington at its worst, the two colluding for inside information, subsidies and rent-seeking carve-outs that come at the expense of the middle class. What we had only once suspected of Eric Cantor is now confirmed.
(H/T: Business Insider)
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