Most Bankers at U.S. Firms in London Getting Bonuses

More than half of bankers and traders working at U.S. securities firms in London will receive a higher bonus for 2013 than a year earlier as they benefited from stronger American investment-banking results, according to compensation data provider Emolument.

About 52 percent of employees in investment banking and markets who submitted numbers from JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in London said they will receive a higher bonus than the year before, Emolument said. About 15 percent said they’ll get at least 30 percent more than 2012, the data showed.

Investment-banking fees including from mergers and initial public offerings rose 5 percent in North America in 2013 compared with 1 percent in western Europe, data compiled by New York-based consulting firm Freeman & Co. show.

“London bonuses at U.S. firms are up, a ripple effect from the 2013 uptick in banking activity in America,” said Robert Benson, chief executive officer of Emolument. “We are keeping a keen eye on upcoming European numbers, which although more modest, should also improve on last year, reflecting stronger performances from equities, investment banking and capital markets, due to absorb losses in fixed-income divisions.”

Emolument said about 30 percent of bankers and traders reported they will receive bonuses that are the same to 10 percent higher. That compares with a drop of 10 to 20 percent in 2012, the data showed.

The bonus season comes as Bank of England Governor Mark Carney urged bankers at a private meeting in Davos last week to moderate compensation, people with knowledge of the matter said. Carney reminded the group that he has stood up for the industry by opposing bonus caps in the interest of financial stability, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the meeting was private.

Emolument, based in London, was started in 2012 by Thomas Drewry, founder of executive-search firm Veni Partners, and Olivier Beau de Lomenie, formerly of online grocer, to provide companies with benchmarking data on compensation.

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