(Updates with comment from Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund in sixth paragraph.)
By Annie Linskey and Roger Runningen
Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor landed a job at investment bank Moelis & Co. that will pay him at least $3.4 million, more than his Tea Party-backed opponent spent to beat him in a Republican primary.
The base salary for “providing strategic counsel” to the firm: $400,000. He’s also set to receive an “initial cash payment” of $400,000 and $1 million in stock, according to the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Next year Cantor’s “minimum incentive compensation” will be $1.2 million, plus $400,000 in stock. The company will pay for Cantor to live in a “reasonable” New York apartment. Cantor will also take a seat on the company’s board, which will expand to seven members from six.
The compensation is a bump from his $193,400 salary as the U.S. House majority leader. After serving in Congress since 2001 and rising to his party’s second-highest position, Cantor lost the Republican primary in his congressional district near Richmond, Virginia, in June, to a Tea Party-backed newcomer, David Brat, a college economics professor.
Political neophyte Brat spent less than $400,000 on his primary challenge to Cantor.
After Brat’s victory, “many analysts accused Eric Cantor of paying more attention to Wall Street than to the people of Virginia’s 7th District,” Kevin Broughton, a spokesman for the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund, a super-political action committee that supports Brat, said in an e-mailed statement. “He certainly didn’t waste any time validating that theory.”
Cantor, 51, who resigned his House leadership post July 31, had pledged to serve out his term yet changed his mind and quit Congress effective Aug. 18.
“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,” Cantor said in a statement from Moelis.
He said that he believes he can help clients succeed in “the new model of independent banks offering conflict-free advice.” Cantor will be the company’s vice chairman and managing director, according to the statement
During his seven terms in Congress, Cantor became a chief critic of President Barack Obama, fighting such White House priorities as the 2009 economic stimulus package and the 2010 health-care overhaul. Moelis said that in his new role, Cantor, who fought to lower taxes and unburden businesses from excessive regulation, will provide strategic counsel to corporate and institutional clients on key issues.
“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,” Ken Moelis, chairman and chief executive officer of Moelis & Co., said in the company release.
It won’t be the first payment Cantor has received from Moelis -- the firm’s chairman gave $2,600 to his campaign in April.
Founded in 2007, Moelis opened offices in New York and Los Angeles to help clients on mergers, acquisitions and other large transactions. It has since opened offices in London, Sydney, Dubai, Frankfurt and other international locations.
(An earlier version of this story was corrected to show Cantor’s total cash and stock compensation.)