Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is taking his talents to Wall Street, joining boutique investment bank Moelis & Co. as a vice chairman and board member.
Cantor's move into the private sector was widely anticipated following his June electoral defeat at the hands of an unknown economics professor -- one of the biggest political upsets in recent memory.
Cantor then chose to resign from his position in the leadership rather than finish his term. The 7-term congressman's decision set off speculation about his next gig -- be it at a bank, lobby shop or law firm.
Despite his lack of experience in the private sector, Cantor will be well compensated.
Moelis ( agreed to give him a $400,000 cash bonus and a $400,000 base salary, according to a regulatory filing. Cantor will also receive $1 million worth of Moelis shares that will be doled out over the next five years. Next year, he is entitled to "incentive compensation" of at least $1.2 million in cash and another $400,000 in stock. )
Cantor, who will work out of New York and a new office opening in D.C., is eligible for even more benefits. He will be reimbursed the "reasonable cost" of a New York City apartment for the first 12 months of his employment. After that, Moelis agreed to put him up in a hotel.
Moelis advises on mergers, acquisitions and risk. Since the firm went public in April, its stock has risen by almost 40%.
"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.
As a lawyer and former member of the House Financial Services Committee, Cantor has always found significant support on Wall Street.
During his most recent congressional campaign, Cantor raised $785,000 from the investment industry -- more than any other sector, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. His top single donor was Blackstone Group (. )
Cantor's move to Wall Street is likely to inflame critics of the so-called revolving door in Washington. They say politicians are too often trading public service duties for lucrative private sector jobs.
Tom Davis, a former Virginia congressman, recently told the New York Times Magazine that Cantor was in a prime position.
"I think it would be easy for him to become Eric Cantor Inc. and make a few million dollars a year," Davis said.