Bank Of America Already Paying $5 Million Bonuses

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It hasn’t repaid TARP yet, but bailed-out Bank of America (BAC) is already paying million-dollar bonuses, says the NYP.

Among those who are said to have received payouts are two former Merrill Lynch bankers, Fares Noujaim, who was recently appointed as BofA’s vice chairman of investment banking, and Harry McMahon, a well-connected West Coast-based banker. Both were offered guarantees not to leave the firm.

Noujaim, a former Bear Stearns banker who joined Merrill last year, is said to have received roughly $15 million over two years.

Sources say Noujaim — a well-regarded banker focusing on the Middle East — was offered a vice-chairman role, and may have been offered at least $5 million more to stay. His earlier employment contract was nullified once Merrill merged with BofA earlier this year, sources said.

A BofA spokesperson told The Post that the bank had to pay bonuses to retain top talent (a common argument, and one that probably makes sense given BofA’s competitors TARP-free status) but that any references to specific individual’s pay is inaccurate. We’re not sure how any reference, could be inaccurate though. Some number has to be right.

Not surprisingly, the bonuses are adding to the friction of internal company politics

…internally, BofA’s guarantees have added to the friction that already exists between former Merrill workers and BofA employees, the latter of whom complain Merrill bankers are more often getting the guarantee bonuses.

Anyway, as soon as the Bonus Czar gets settled in, we’re sure he’ll be calling

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