The good: bonus time come early! The not as good: no touching.
Managing directors at Credit Suisse Group in London learned last Wednesday that they would receive a late-summer reward that will restore at least some of the money they sacrificed last year when the bank cut payouts in response to the one-time U.K. bonus tax. The bank will pay a midyear bonus on Sept. 1 in the form of cash that the bankers can't take home until 2012 or 2013; the payout could be adjusted based on performance, said a person familiar with the matter. The payment is meant to keep the firm in sync with competitors, said the person.
In the U.S., the early bonus might be a way for banks to soften the blow of smaller incentive payments that are widely expected because of softer revenue during the first eight months of the year. Many companies are looking to move part of their bonus payments from early 2011 to late 2010, says Mike Shah, a lawyer at Jones Day who has held discussions with firms about the topic. "It's something companies ought to consider because it enhances employee morale and therefore shareholder value," he said.