FORMER Citigroup high-flyer Michael Klein pocketed $10m (£6.4m) as a flat fee for helping Barclays buy Lehman Brothers’ US brokerage at the height of the financial crisis.
The investment banker’s pay deal, revealed during the ongoing legal wrangle between the two sides regarding the takeover, was described as being “of great interest” by bankruptcy judge James Peck.
Lehman alleges Barclays “grabbed” an $11bn windfall when it snatched the business from the jaws of collapse in September 2008. Barclays Capital, led by Bob Diamond, insists it took a risk by purchasing Lehman’s US arm at a time of severe market turbulence.
A lawyer for Klein, who now works as a freelance banker and has advised Liverpool FC, said disclosing the fee could put him at a disadvantage when negotiating with clients. But Peck said the sum was “not only of great interest but it goes to the heart of his credibility as a witness”.
Klein said the reward was not related to how much Barclays paid for Lehman. He claimed to have worked nearly 24 hours a day from the time Lehman applied for bankruptcy and Barclays sealed its buyout.