Following news that Goldman Sachs CEOs are getting their bonuses in stock rather than cash this year, Smith & Wollensky has placed an ad in the Times saying that it will award dining credit to customers who bring in NYSE and NASDAQ stock certificates. Obviously it’s a publicity ploy along the lines of the Maloney & Porcelli expense-account generator (Maloney & Porcelli happens to be owned by the same restaurant group), but in this case it’s not just a stunt: Smith & Wollensky actually will accept stock, if you’re looking to unload. But will they get as much publicity out of this as Commerce did out of its credit cards–only policy? Here’s the lawyer’s disclaimer about the trade-in program, followed by the ad.
In order to accept this offer, the registered owner of the stock personally must be present and must surrender to Fourth Wall the original stock certificate, plus a separate stock power with a medallion signature guarantee affixed. The stock must be of a public company traded on a national securities exchange with a readily determinable market value, freely salable by Fourth Wall and free from any transfer or other restrictions. Market value will be determined by Fourth Wall in its sole determination based on current market quotations, which determination will be binding. The value of the stock certificate (valued at the prior day’s close) will be credited to their bill. No credit will be provided if the value of the stock exceeds the amount spent at the restaurant. Fourth Wall is not acting as a broker or dealer and is acquiring the stock for its own account and not as part of its regular business.