Half of Wall Street Professionals Expect Bigger Bonus in 2010, Survey Says
Half of Wall Street finance professionals surveyed expect their bonuses to increase for 2010, eFinancialCareers.com found.
About 71 percent of the 2,145 people who responded to the e-mailed poll in the U.S. said they are anticipating at least an equal bonus from last year, with 50 percent expecting a bigger payout, the job-search website said in a statement. About 11 percent said their bonus will jump by at least half, according to the survey.
The percentage expecting a bigger bonus increased from 36 percent in last year’s poll, when firms faced pressure from regulators and lawmakers to rein in pay after many accepted billions in government rescue funds. Almost 60 percent of respondents cited market conditions as the biggest concern for their compensation.
“The signs of bonus euphoria may be hard to find, but Wall Street employers will have to deal with professionals who believe they are in contention for fatter paychecks and the inevitable retention issues should their expectations be dashed,” Constance Melrose, managing director of eFinancialCareers North America, said in the statement.
About 91 percent of those polled in the U.S. expect to receive some kind of bonus this year, according to eFinancialCareers, a unit of Dice Holdings Inc. The survey was conducted from Sept. 15 to Sept. 28 and received responses from front-office and support staff at investment and commercial banks, hedge funds and insurance companies.
The results were part of a global survey that included financial workers in the U.K., Germany, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. About 71 percent of respondents in Hong Kong expected a larger bonus, along with 69 percent in Singapore, 57 percent in the U.K. and 47 percent in Germany.
U.S. respondents said they expected an average of 78 percent of their bonus to be in “immediately available cash,” Melrose said in an interview. About 70 percent didn’t expect any portion of their bonus to be deferred, she said.
“There has been a lot of recruitment activity this year, and that recruitment activity is part of what is driving expectations,” Melrose said. “You still have to pay for performance, and you have to pay to keep your competitive edge.”
In the first six months of the year, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. set aside $9.3 billion for total compensation, down from last year’s record $11.4 billion. JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s investment bank allocated $5.3 billion versus $6 billion a year earlier, and Morgan Stanley’s investment bank set aside $3.5 billion, up from $3.1 billion. All figures exclude U.K. bonus tax costs.
Of the U.S. respondents who anticipate a bigger bonus, 33 percent attributed it to their firm’s performance and 34 percent said it’s related to personal accomplishments. About 37 percent said pay is the most important factor in their decision to work in the industry.
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