Can you make $687 million from 1 job?

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by Grandluxe, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. These guys can.

    2 Japanese Bankers at Heart of Olympus Fee Inquiry

    For two decades, a pair of Japanese bankers toiled away in relative anonymity on Wall Street, hopping from firm to firm.

    Now the two — Hajime Sagawa and Akio Nakagawa — are at the center of a growing firestorm over a mysterious $687 million payout by Olympus, the Japanese company that runs a lucrative medical equipment business and a less successful, if better known, digital camera business.

    The money has been described as a fee for advising Olympus on the 2008 takeover of a British company, the Gyrus Group.

    But the fee amount was more than 30 times the norm on Wall Street. And it went, in part, to a tiny unknown firm run by Mr. Sagawa and Mr. Nakagawa, a review of public records shows.

    For years, the two men ran a sleepy operation arranging private securities transactions and advising on mergers. Mr. Sagawa even found time to sail around the world.

    In the United States, meanwhile, Axes generated mediocre revenue and hired only a handful of employees.

    Ultimately, Olympus spent $687 million on fees, or 36 percent of the value of the Gyrus deal, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. An adviser’s fee typically amounts to about 1 percent.

    After the payout in March 2010, Mr. Sagawa shut down his businesses one by one. In June 2010, Axam was removed from the Cayman Islands company registry “for nonpayment of license fees,” according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

    And by December, Sagawa Capital, too, was extinct.

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