• 19 Jan 2012 at 10:49 AM

Bonus Watch ’12: Morgan Stanley

The good news: the waiting– which is the hardest part!– is over. The bad news: this year’s bonuses.

From the front lines:

“Terrible across all divisions. FID, IBD, and even equities hard hit – lots of zeroes at junior levels. Lots of deferred cash and stock for more senior people.”

And:

“Demoralizing is best word to describe bonuses this year. Many 0’s, average seemed to be down 20-30% YOY** in S&T for VPs/EDs. Brutal day.”

Having said that:

“I would say that expectations were set lower and lower until mgmt would be able to exceed them, which they did, slightly. I have to imagine anyone VP or lower who was hired less than 12 months ago got a zero… as should have been expected. Anyone else who got a zero should take it as a sign that they should leave, except maybe in FID, where they just did a shitty job.”

**Update: Bloomberg has heard the same thing.

144 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (144)

  1. Posted by Guest | January 19, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    "Lots of zeroes" at bonus time used to be a good thing… Sad.

  2. Posted by Wall St. Dude | January 19, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    Would love more clarity – pretty vague

    Appears Morgan Stanley is the wrong Morgan to be at – variance in comp is staggering

  3. Posted by Guest | January 19, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Don't they try to hire the "smartest people" from the "best schools"?

    What happened?

  4. Posted by pazzo83 | January 19, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    "Anyone else who got a zero should take it as a sign that they should leave, except maybe in FID, where they just did a shitty job."

    Interesting, getting a zero here is basically the gold star standard we all aspire to.

    – UBS IB MD

  5. Posted by Guest | January 19, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Could be worse, you could in a river of excrement and a Native American water vessel without any means of propulsion.
    -Bank Of AMerrillWide MD

  6. Posted by guest | January 19, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    I'm really not sure what more clarity you need- a shitton of people got zeros, people they want to retain did okay. Not great, but higher than the expectations (of zero) set by management.

    – guy who is supposed to be taking his bonus as "a sign"

  7. Posted by Jealous if true | January 19, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    How does the math work where the average is -20% or -30% YoY but yet there are a lot of 0s too? Wouldn't that imply a lot of people got paid at least flat YoY or even up?

  8. Posted by Guest | January 19, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    Yes. My buddy works At The Other Morgan. I suddenly hate him now.

  9. Posted by guest | January 19, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    down 20 -30 is the average among people who got actual bonuses. as in, not including the zeros.

  10. Posted by Guest | January 19, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    At least they get free Bloomberg.

    – Ex-Drexel dude who can only afford one of Yahoo Finance or Google Finance.

  11. Posted by Lew Dunbar | January 19, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    How are they supposed to retain "world class talent" if they can't pay expected bonuses?

    The future BSD's aren't going to be around for when the pastures turn greener.

    Seems very shortsighted.

  12. Posted by guest | January 19, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    those that didn't get 0 were down 20-30% YoY. avg of the subset that got something. try to keep up here chief. and don't try to figure out the T or F test table, will make your head explode.

  13. Posted by HungryIntern | January 19, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    "Anyone else who got a zero should take it as a sign that they should leave…" and where exactly should they go?

  14. Posted by guest | January 19, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    up front cash cap $125k, rest deferred.

  15. Posted by Guest | January 19, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    To the vast dumpster that lies between the Pacific and the Hudson river.

  16. Posted by Lew Dunbar | January 19, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    OWS needs more sign painters, drum bangers, and empathy quants.

  17. Posted by marktomarket | January 19, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Yes. My buddy works at The Other Other Morgan, and soon for Raymond James.

    –guy who used to be on the buy side

  18. Posted by Lew Dunbar | January 19, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    You just fed a troll

  19. Posted by guest | January 19, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    early retirement?

  20. Posted by guest | January 19, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    somewhere they'll be appreciated!

    [don't know where that is]

  21. Posted by guest | January 19, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Or you're an idiot. Either/or.

  22. Posted by Matt's Mom | January 19, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    Matt is that you? I'm so proud your CFA studies have paid off..

  23. Posted by guest | January 19, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    cool it Matt's mom, he'll find out next week.

  24. Posted by guest | January 19, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Bloomberg trailing DB (just came up now):

    Morgan Stanley Said to Cut Senior Investment Banker, Trader Pay 20% to 30%
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-19/morgan-s

  25. Posted by guest | January 19, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    so people with knowledge of the decision = Dealbreaker?

    Morgan Stanley is reducing pay for senior investment bankers and traders by an average of 20 percent to 30 percent for 2011 as it seeks to curb mounting compensation costs, people with knowledge of the decision said.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-19/morgan-s

  26. Posted by Ray Finkle | January 19, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Learning to use an apostrophe appropriately is the first step.

    Pardon the alliteration.

  27. Posted by Guest | January 19, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    What's a t or f test table?

    -Level 3 candidate who is thinking he should spend more time studying at beamers

  28. Posted by guesticles | January 19, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    What is this gold you refer to?

    -UBS Precious Metals Trader

  29. Posted by Ray Finkle | January 19, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    +1

  30. Posted by R. Goodell | January 19, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    The bulge brackets should have some kind of salary cap rules.

  31. Posted by guest to you | January 19, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Yes. Any other questions?

  32. Posted by Guest | January 19, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Philadelphia, duh…..

    – UBS Geography Quant

  33. Posted by Dick Fuld | January 19, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    This was an industry for the 90's…. The dream is over.

  34. Posted by RBS Quant | January 19, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    I wonder how this will affect recruiting…

    I can already see the new slogan:

    Morgan Stanley "Where less (in this case zero) is more!"

  35. Posted by Guest | January 19, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    FUCK! Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck

    – UBS MD, who was surprised at his bonus (but should not have been)

  36. Posted by D. Stern | January 19, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Do those work?

  37. Posted by HaightAshbury | January 19, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    WFC > BAC > Morgan Stanley

  38. Posted by El Guesto | January 19, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Hear that Mexico is running out of sharks… Maybe something to think about?

  39. Posted by erinmotion | January 19, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    HEY!
    – guy from raymond keegan

  40. Posted by Guest | January 19, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Next year instead of zeros, we are going with retroactive abortion.

    – J Gorman

  41. Posted by Guesto | January 19, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Not that much…..prob like Mitt Romney's public speaking engagement fees.

  42. Posted by Quantifiable Rainman | January 19, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    So salary/bonus means I’m worth an infinitely vast amount of money.

  43. Posted by Jonny Riggs | January 19, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Bonuses are not down for senior level executives (top 1%) at any of these banks. Do you see what the CEO take home. For example, how else would this banker (Reece) be able to buy a $9m home in this market.
    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/realestate/

  44. Posted by guest to you | January 19, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    kill yourself.

  45. Posted by guestapo | January 19, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    You know you're a moron, right?

  46. Posted by just a guess? | January 19, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Ummm, he didn't start the year with zero dollars in his bank account?

  47. Posted by guest | January 19, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    you're an idiot.

  48. Posted by Rick | January 19, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    There's always lots of people that come in on guarantees so increases amount paid (v last year) in a total pool sense

  49. Posted by Quantifiable Rainman | January 19, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    He paid for it by pimping your mom out.

  50. Posted by Kweku | January 19, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    Its "gold star" or "gold standard", not "gold star standard"

    Impeccable grammar, despite the trial.

    Thx,
    – Kweku

  51. Posted by Pedantic Guy | January 19, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    You want o know what happened. They hired a former consultant from, of all places, Australia, to head up a firm whose main revenue driver was trading.

  52. Posted by Pedantic Guy | January 19, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Mean. Medain. Mode. Review.

  53. Posted by kanye | January 19, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    Russell Brand, Russell Crowe..zero zero zero zero a whole lotta 0's.

  54. Posted by HAHA | January 19, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Dear Genius, It's median.

  55. Posted by FaithfulMSEmployee | January 19, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    Bonus day is tomorrow – Jan 20th Friday

  56. Posted by Guest | January 19, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    Ha – here's the real deal:

    The goal is to pace yourself and bail out of a firm at those times when the money sucks, but space those moves out over the years so that you haven't exhausted the list of all the firms that would have you, before you retire.

    It's a big circular process. (Your punchline here.) And this is key: you have to keep stomping on the junior people you encounter on your way, so that not enough of them survive to grow up to being your peers, and challenge you.

    Yup – the sad truth: gotta keep that junior talent pruned.

    There is justice, of course: junior guys break out of the trance of I-Bkg, and then go start a real company of their own, and you kiss up to them down the road when you can make fees off them. And if you're *really* good, you'll have stomped them just hard enough to get them out of banking, but delicately enough so that they actually have fond memories of having worked for you and will give you business down the road!

    No one said it was pretty.

  57. Posted by McKinsey's Finest | January 19, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    How's that joint venture working out, Jim?

  58. Posted by Wall St. Dude | January 19, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    Any word on Assoc 2, and Assoc 3??

  59. Posted by The Truff | January 19, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    Translation = Being cheap > Being broke > sucking at everything

  60. Posted by Smith Barney, Esq. | January 19, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Not getting a bonus, raise, or even job security is the NKI

  61. Posted by Guest | January 19, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    "I have to imagine anyone VP or lower who was hired less than 12 months ago got a zero"

    This is definitely not true for everyone in that category, even in FID. Actually saw a couple that looked extremely happy (and trying to hide it) coming back with their number.

  62. Posted by ups quant | January 20, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    brown gold

  63. Posted by ups quant | January 20, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    brown gold.

  64. Posted by 3 card monty guy | January 20, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    i see what you did there.

  65. Posted by MS MD | January 21, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    they crushed everyone below MD
    ED's 0-$50,000 (salaries are ranging from 150-300)
    VP's 0-$12,000 (salaries ranging from 75-200)
    Below VP 0-$2500 (Salaries ranging from 50-75)
    across the board most got zeros
    anyone with total comp(salary+bonus) above 250 was forced into deferrals for amounts above 250
    For those in the tri-state area it will be hard to work here for long. Cash flow is tight and past few year most got crushed so not much in savings
    Gorman making more than entire divisions
    office printers and copy machines are printing resumes only
    if recruiters and competitors were smart they could pick off a ton of talent on the cheap here

  66. Posted by Warburg Principal | January 21, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    I don't even feel bad any longer for my ex-colleagues at Morgan Stanley whom I left behind to transition to the buy-side. And not just any buy-side firm, but the premier, prestigious PE firm of Warburg Pincus. I left a few years ago… the best career decision.

    Now for the past week I have been flooded by cold-calls, silly resumes and other moronic materials from my ex-colleagues at MS who did not have the right pedigree, Ivy-league degree or MBA to have made the jump to the buy-side.

    Sorry guys — I can't help you losers.

    But — don't you cry for me.. I'm a principal now and on a partner-track position.

    you bulge-bracket assholes are doomed, sinking closer and closer towards the 99% hippies in Zuccoti Park.

    Regards,
    Warburg "WasP" Baller.

  67. Posted by Wall St. Dude | January 21, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Troll.

  68. Posted by Wall St. Dude | January 21, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    What are these numbers? ED's 0-50k bump in salary or is that the bonus??? Is that right?????

  69. Posted by Mumbai ops | January 22, 2012 at 6:41 AM

    Divide these numbers by three and these are Mumbai ops numbers

  70. Posted by MS MD | January 22, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    0-50,000 bonus
    no bumps in salary this year at any level

  71. Posted by MS VP | January 22, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    these numbers are bogus.

  72. Posted by MS MD | January 22, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    couldn't agree more

  73. Posted by MS VP | January 22, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    No I mean the numbers you're giving are wrong.

  74. Posted by Guest | January 22, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    It's like you're a freshman in college who just learned about Wall St and likes to write about it. Stop posting dude. Everyone hates you.

    – your mom

  75. Posted by Wall St. Dude | January 23, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    They have to be, unless you're an ED in operations risk. 2500 from an investment banker below VP, what is this a joke?

  76. Posted by MSters | January 23, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    Investors better run with your money before it collapsed!!!!!!! Someone w a legal degree can't manage the biz……lol

  77. Posted by JPM | January 23, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    i think JPM is doing a much better job after 70 over years after separation…shame MS.

  78. Posted by Grover | January 24, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Actually this article is inaccurate at best and completely wrong at worst… roomates at MS IBD first year made 40k annualized bonus…

  79. Posted by Guesticles | January 25, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    Talent? It left a while ago.

  80. Posted by MS Associate | January 25, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Agree that this information from MS MD is totally wrong. Let me list the ways:

    1. I got a bonus larger than the 50k max listed for EDs
    2. Did get a salary bump
    3. My salary both before and after the bump is well above the 75k max listed for below VP

  81. Posted by Ikdli | January 26, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    JPM and MS are intrinsically different businesses, MS is much smaller with more emphasis on trading and advisory services much like a GS..don't think you can really compare to two and I don't see how MS is necessarily doing "worse" what department are you talking about? MS banking trumps JPM banking any day of the week

  82. Posted by IBD MS | January 29, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    Where is dealbreaker getting this stuff?!!! I am a FIRST YEAR ANALYST and I got 19K bonus for half the year…not stellar but expected..and definitely not zero

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