Eric Cantor Turns from Political Power Broker to Wall Street Insider for $2 Million Salary

The Washington Way: Former U.S House of Representatives Majority Leader joins an investment bank a month after leaving his post.

logo moelisMoelis & Company, a global investment bank listed on the New York Stock Exchange, announced today the appointment of Eric Cantor, former United States Representative and former House Majority Leader, as Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the firm.

Mr. Cantor will also be elected to the Moelis & Company Board of Directors. The firm said that in his new role Mr. Cantor will provide strategic counsel to its corporate and institutional clients on key issues, playing a leading role in client development and advising clients on strategic matters.

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Mr. Cantor officially served as the Leader of the House until August 1, 2014, meaning that the firm only waited a month before making his appointment public knowledge. This type of revolving door move is accepted in Washington, unlike many other countries where there are requirements for minimal cooling-off periods for politicians to cross over to the companies they are supposed to be regulating.

Ken Moelis, Chairman and CEO of Moelis & Company, said at the official announcement: “At Moelis & Company, we offer our clients judgment and experience in order to help them with their most important strategic and financial decisions. Eric’s judgment and tremendous experience will expand the capabilities our team brings to clients around the world as he has unique expertise in assessing complex situations and crafting innovative solutions.”

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However, talking with the Wall Street Journal, the founder of the investment bank named after himself, further explained his decision. Mr. Moelis said he is hiring Mr. Cantor for his ability to open doors—and not just to help navigating regulatory and political waters in Washington. “I have no need for a political figurehead,” Mr. Moelis said. “What I want is a partner.”

Eric_Cantor,_official_113th_Congress_photo_portraitThrough his years of political experience, Mr. Cantor has emerged as a leading voice on the economy and job creation. During his Congressional career, Mr. Cantor worked to lower taxes, eliminate excessive regulation, encourage entrepreneurship and strengthen small businesses, the firm explained at the announcement. And now he is joining the $2 billion Wall Street Investment Bank.

Mr. Cantor said, “When I considered options for the next chapter of my career, I knew I wanted to join a firm with a great entrepreneurial spirit that focused on its clients. I have known Ken for some time and having followed the growth and success of his Firm, I have long admired his vision and leadership. The new model of independent banks offering conflict free advice, in a smaller more intimate environment, was a place where I knew my skills could help clients succeed.”

Mr. Moelis added, “Eric has proven himself to be a pro-business advocate and one who will enhance our boardroom discussions with CEOs and senior management as we help them navigate their most important strategic decisions.”

According to a report sent today by the firm to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Moelis agreed to pay Mr. Cantor a base salary of $400,000 a year, an extra $1.4 million for a signing bonus and $1.6 million in incentive compensation next year. So, the former leader will make about $2 million a year for the first two years before taking into account possible performance bonuses.

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