Compensation

As those of you who follow the news out of Newport Beach, California know, the past couple months have not been the best for Bill Gross. First, Pimco co-CEO Mohammed El-Erian announced that he would be parting ways with the bond giant. Then, the Wall Street Journal detailed his “What the fuck are you looking at” management style, in an article that also revealed Gross’s nickname for himself: Secretariat. Next, Reuters refused to print his theory that El-Erian had penned the Journal story himself, and instead made him not look great by quoting him as saying that El-Erian was waging a campaign to undermine him and that ME-E had Reuterswrapped around his charming right finger.” Along the way, people have offered up suggestions re: how you solve a problem like Bill Gross, which have included not investing with him, slashing his $200 million/year salary, teaching him remedial strategies for acting like a sentient human being who would not admonish someone for daring to look him in the eye and, most recently, putting him out to pasture. Read more »

Bill Gross set to blow again in 5…4…3…2… Read more »

Deutsche Bank reduced salaries and bonuses at the investment bank, which also includes sales and trading, by 14 percent to 5.34 billion euros last year from 6.24 billion euros in 2012, the company said. The compensation fell 23 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier. “We are keeping an eye on the competition and the pack that we’re competing with for talent,” Jain said. “What we are doing is something the whole industry is doing at varying speeds.” The bank hasn’t lost a “material” number of investment bankers after overhauling its compensation system, which includes staggering annual bonuses over a longer period, he said. [Bloomberg]

  • 10 Sep 2013 at 4:41 PM

Bonus Watch ’13: Rick’s Cabaret

Former exotic dancers who were employed at Rick’s Cabaret International Inc. are entitled to be paid a minimum wage, said a U.S. judge who ruled that they were club employees and not independent contractors under the law. Former strippers sued Rick’s Cabaret and its corporate parent RCI Entertainment New York in U.S. District Court in Manhattan in 2009, alleging they weren’t paid any salary in violation of federal and state labor laws. The dancers said they instead received money from customers including “performance fees” for personal dances. Publicly traded Rick’s Cabaret argued that it exercised “minimal control” over the women, whom the company said were independent contractors not covered by labor law. Rick’s Cabaret also filed a countersuit for “unjust enrichment” claiming that the performance fees the dancers earned should be counted against any statutory wage obligation of the defendants. U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer in New York today rejected the defendants’ bid for summary judgment, or a ruling before trial, concluding that Rick’s Cabaret had “regulated almost every aspect of the dancers’ behavior within the club.” [Bloomberg, Related: Bankers And Traders “Legitimately” Expensing Strip Clubs Do Rick’s Cabaret A Solid]

Richard Lee, the ex-SAC Capital trader who pleaded guilty to insider trading last week, was fired from a rival hedge fund over a bonus-boosting scheme that was uncovered his first day in a new job, The Post has learned. Lee was ousted from Ken Griffin’s $15 billion Citadel Investment Group in 2008 for fiddling with the trading books in a ploy to pump up his payout, sources said. What’s more, it happened during Lee’s first few hours as head of Citadel’s value special situation team, which focused on mergers, according to sources. Lee never made it to a second day. Citadel accused him of pulling profits from other trading groups to boost his own performance numbers, a source said. The 34-year-old Lee, a graduate of Brown University who lives on Chicago’s tony Gold Coast, had been promoted to head of the trading group after the former chief left in March 2008. Citadel has programs to track such changes and Lee was caught within “three hours,” sources said. In a statement, Citadel hinted at the reason for Lee’s firing, saying he “transferred positions” in such a way that it “would have impacted only his potential future compensation.” [NYP]

Europe has big plans to micromanage bankers’ bonuses and the first step of those plans is to figure out how big those bonuses are. And here is the answer! For 2011, anyway, and for bankers who made more than €1mm. It’s a report from the European Banking Authority based on their data collection project, in which national regulators were asked to collect data on all bankers within their borders who made more than €1mm.

I’ve had a go at putting it into a spreadsheet, which you should play with; you might find more interesting things than I did. But given that fixed vs. variable comp for high earners is the main focus, here’s the fixed/variable breakdown in various countries:
Read more »

Here you can read an independent review of how Barclays lost its way and I submit to you that the fundamental problem was grammar:

In 2005, John Varley launched the Group’s five Guiding Principles – ‘customer focus’, ‘winning together’, ‘best people’, ‘pioneering’ and ‘trusted’ – demonstrating intent to oversee the Group through one set of values. (Section 8.14)

Are your five Guiding Principles nouns or adjectives?1 None can say. Even 30 Rock’s six sigmas were more grammatically consistent. If your five guiding principles are clearly just some mismatched words that someone wrote down and never edited, and that no one could actually use in a sentence, then: they’re not guiding anyone.2

And they didn’t. The lack of a shared understanding of values across Barclays spawned this chart, which might be my favorite thing ever:

Other than that though the report is kind of boring.3 Read more »