In-House Counsel

Bear Stearns GC Sold Stock Options Before They Plummeted in Value

Bear Stearns general counsel Michael Solender was one of six corporate insiders who sold stock options before they dropped below $3 a share, according to a published report.

Solender sold stock options for $89 a share, earning $186,000, three months before the big drop in share price, the American Lawyer reports. Solender earned the options as part of a deferred compensation plan, the legal newspaper reports.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Bear Stearns’ executive compensation program stressed low salaries and high bonuses. Exit packages for executives who may leave after a takeover by JPMorgan Chase are paltry, and they include stock options that are now “largely worthless,” the newspaper reported. Its story was published when JPMorgan’s offer for Bear Stearns stock stood at $2 a share; the offer is now $10 a share.

The American Lawyer says Solender still has options for 17,500 shares, once worth more than $1.5 million but now valued at about $170,000.

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