Fleet to Play Santa to Robertson Stephens Managers

June 20, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - FleetBoston Financial is working on a deal to give its controlling stake in technology investment bank Robertson Stephens to a senior management team for no payment.

The investment bank, which took scores of Internet firms public in during the technology boom, saw its fortunes change as the tech bubble burst. The firm now faces liquidation if the deal does not go through.

The word on the street is that the agreement would allow Fleet to avoid paying out guaranteed pay and bonuses worth more than $100 million to its investment bankers at Robertson Stephens.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the proposed transaction would force Fleet to take a large charge against earnings. Analysts estimate that Fleet’s accountants value Robertson Stephens at $600 million.

Though, terms are still being negotiated, it is speculated that about 100 senior Robertson executives will receive equity in the bank. A deal could be sealed within the next few weeks.