Shaking the family tree…

May 7, 2004

The latest crop of proxies continues to reveal all sorts of family ties, including many that don’t appear to be new, but which are suddenly being disclosed to investors for the first time. Take Friedman, Billings, Ramsey (FBR), an investment banking niche firm based in suburban DC. In its recent proxy, investors learned that the sister-in-law of co-chairman Emanuel Friedman made nearly $500,000 last year, though it’s not clear how long she’s been an employee. Relatives of co-chairman Eric Billings fared even better. Younger brother Jonathan Billings, 50, who became an executive officer of FBR at the end of February, but who has been with the company since its founding in 1989, made over $1.6 million last year and received 32,000 shares of restricted stock. Meanwhile, three of Jonathan’s in-laws, who, presumably are unrelated to Eric Billings, were also on the FBR payroll last year. One received about $300,000 in salary and over 19,000 shares of restricted stock; another around $500,000 in salary and commissions, and the third around $170,000. The proxy notes that at least two of the three in-laws were FBR employees prior to 2003, even though their roles at the company had not previously been disclosed.

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