MF Global Execs Could Receive Bonuses For Handling Liquidation

Three executives who oversaw operations at MF Global Holdings Ltd. could receive bonuses if a bankruptcy court approves. The financial company, once run by former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 31, 2011.

Compensation packages, which were still being prepared late last week, would go to Chief Operating Officer Bradley Abelow, General Counsel Laurie Ferber and Chief Financial Officer Henri J. Steenkamp. Abelow served as New Jersey State Treasurer in 2006 and 2007, and later became Corzine’s Chief of Staff.

“The value that Brad, Henri and Laurie bring by helping to liquidate and recover assets for the estate outweighs the cost to retain them,” said Frank Piantidosi, an advisor with trustee Louis Freeh who is working to restore funds to the company’s creditors.

Two senators have asked the trustee to reconsider the idea of paying bonuses to the company executives.

“Rather than reward executives in the hopes of being able to pay back creditors, I urge you to forgo executive bonuses and instead use these funds to repay the farmers and ranchers whose trust was so betrayed by MF Global,” wrote Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.)

“These same executives were at the helm of MF Global when it collapsed,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D.-Minn.) wrote in a separate letter. “Issuing bonuses with the company’s holdings sends the wrong message to customers already skeptical of the bankruptcy process.”

An estimated $1.6 billion shortfall in customer accounts was discovered after MF Global filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year. No one at the company has been charged with any wrongdoing.

A House subcommittee is reportedly planning to hold a hearing on the final days before the firm’s collapse.


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