It’s been a grueling year on Wall Street—working from home for six-figure salaries, as millions entered unemployment or poverty—and the boutique investment firm, Houlihan Lokey, is thanking its entire financial staff with a very special perk: an all-expenses-paid “global getaway.”
The vacations, announced by the company internally and leaked on Instagram and Twitter by the finance meme account Litquidity, make for a fairly steep step-up from free coffee or Bagel Fridays. The trips can be redeemed by everyone from junior analysts to administrators in the U.S. corporate finance division at a range of preselected destinations across North America, Europe, and Asia. The vacation-ambivalent can transfer the voyage to any friend or family, or exchange it for a charitable donation. In addition, first-year corporate finance analysts in the U.S. will also see a $5,000 pay bump and a $10,000 bonus for finishing the financial year.
Houlihan Lokey declined to comment. But a source familiar with the matter told The Daily Beast that the move is “essentially to celebrate a very hard, but very good year in [Houlihan Lokey’s] corporate finance business.”
“If we were in the NFL, or NBA we would be handing out rings. If we were a Formula One team, we would be spraying champagne…” corporate finance co-heads Scott Adelson and Bob Hotz wrote in the leaked memo. “Instead, our team, is going to celebrate our achievements with a global getaway.”
Founded in 1972 and headquartered in Los Angeles, the multinational investment bank specializes in mergers and acquisitions, valuations, and restructuring businesses with distressed debt. The firm represented the creditors’ committee in Lehman Brothers’ monumental bankruptcy filing following the financial crisis in 2008. Most recently, according to a Wednesday release, the firm has been expanding into the European oil and gas sector.
The vacation announcement amid reports of younger bankers all over Wall Street griping about their work conditions, who detailed working 95-hour weeks and extensive out-of-pocket expenses for work-from-home costs. A leaked presentation from Goldman Sachs analysts, reported by Insider, showed a line-by-line budget of expenditures junior staff had incurred during the pandemic.
The news put major Wall Street firms in competition to offer their younger members—whose starting salaries clock in around $80,000, but can make nearly twice that in bonuses—increasingly cush perks to curb departures. Bank of America increased salaries for analysts in their investment bank by $10,000; Barclays announced plans to make Saturdays a non-work day for staff. Jefferies Financial Group, Inc. gave its youngest members Peloton bikes. “This is the very least we can do,” Jefferies CEO Rich Handler told Bloomberg.
In addition to the bonuses, the Houlihan Lokey memo detailed three new work rules: employees will not have to “work past midnight” without prior approval; they will be granted one “protected day” per week, where no work will be expected of them; and they will get a minimum of 10 “working days” of vacation.
Adelson and Hotz nodded to analyst resentment in a post-script.
“P.S.,” they wrote. “A special nod to any cynics out there... no this is not in lieu of your regular bonus, or a deduct! And no there is no hidden agenda, this is just a CELEBRATION on a global scale.