Another Hedge Fund Legend Calls It Quits: Phil Falcone Leaves Harbinger Group, Gets $20.5 Million Severance

Another day, another (former) hedge fund legend calls it quits, this time embattled one-time hedge fund legend (until that whole Securities Fraud charge appeared) Phil Falcone, whose Harbinger hedge fund was a decade ago the dream venue for most hedge fund traders and analysts, and who as of December 1, will no longer be CEO and Chairman of the Harbinger Group. But don't cry for Falcone: he will depart with a $20.5 Million lump sum payment. His replacement: the man who has already been intimately involved with Harbinger - Leucadia's Joe Steinberg, who on numerous previous occasions has provided critical funding to the embattled conglomerate.

From the release:

Harbinger Group Inc. today announced that Philip Falcone, HGI's Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the board of directors (the "Board") will, effective December 1, 2014, resign from his positions with the Company. Joseph S. Steinberg, an independent member of the Board, will become Chairman of the BoardHGI will name a Chief Executive Officer upon the completion of a search process.

 

Mr. Steinberg, the incoming Board Chairman, commented that, "During Mr. Falcone's tenure as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, the Company experienced significant growth and success, beginning as a company with approximately $140 million market capitalization in 2009 rising to today's market capitalization of approximately $2.6 billion. We thank Phil for his many years of hard work and leading HGI." 

 

Simultaneously with Mr. Falcone's resignation, Mr. Keith Hladek, an HGI director, will also resign from the Board.  Mr. Falcone and Mr. Hladek are expected to dedicate their efforts to HC2 Holdings, Inc. and Harbinger Capital Partners, LLC. In connection with his resignation, the Company will pay Mr. Falcone a lump sum payment consisting of $20,500,000 one-time payment, $16,500,000 in respect of Mr. Falcone's previously earned and awarded annual bonus for fiscal year 2014 and $3,300,000 as a pro-rata bonus for fiscal year 2015.  In addition, the warrants to acquire common stock of HGI that were previously awarded to Mr. Falcone will continue to vest in accordance with their existing vesting schedule.

Congratulations to Joe Steinberg, who with the recent addition of Jefferies, is building a financial conglomerate empire which according to some is starting to become a Berkshire Hathaway lite.