BONUS WATCH:The $40M Club

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Bonus numbers for the upper reaches of Wall Street executives are coming in. Or at least the best guesses about those numbers. Yesterday Charlie Gasparino reported that his sources say 50 individuals at Goldman were looking at bonuses in excess of $25 million, and that twelve indivuals at each of Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch would get that much. This morning the New York Post reports on the most exclusive bonus club of them all: the chief exectuvies. Bonuses are expected to put them over the $40 million mark.

As news spreads of Lehman Brothers boss Dick Fuld's $186 million, 10-year payout, Wall Street's top five chieftains are on track to rake in a combined $200 million in 2006, awash in cash from record trading profits.
Profits at Wall Street's leading firms are up an average 15 percent across the board from last year's record levels. So are their stock prices, with even Morgan Stanley - the scene of a bitter, multi-month executive rebellion in 2005 - up more than 28 percent year-to-date.
Executive recruiters and veteran Wall Street pros told The Post that there was little doubt that for the chiefs of Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, a $40 million payday is a distinct possibility.
"I think it is safe to say that this year, most of the leading [Wall Street] CEOs will see their pay in the $40 million or above range," said a veteran Wall Street executive recruiter.

Of course, the most underreported story right now are the bonuses of Wall Streeters farther down in the ranks. Don't forget to send bonus rumors to tips@dealbreaker.com. Thanks.
Fat Cat Parade [New York Post]

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