Bonus Watch '12: Area Man Suggests Looking On The Bright Side

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Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, and Credit Suisse made some of the year’s biggest cuts in compensation for investment bankers, averaging as much as 30 percent, as Wall Street firms grappled with lower revenue. Morgan Stanley, owner of the world’s largest brokerage, will also cap cash awards and defer more payouts, people with knowledge of the plans have said, while Zurich-based Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second-largest bank, plans to give a portion of senior employees’ bonuses in bonds backed by derivatives. New York-based Citigroup may cut some bonuses in the securities and banking unit as much as 70 percent...Recipients may find they do better with shares instead of cash, according to Paul Sorbera, president of Wall Street executive search firm Alliance Consulting. “If things turn around, it may really turn out to be a windfall for them,” said Sorbera, whose firm is based in New York. “Some of these stocks are off 80 percent.” The S&P Financials Index advanced 8.6 percent this year as of last week’s close, and Bank of America Corp., ranked second by assets in the U.S., was leading the Dow Jones Industrial Average with a 31 percent advance. [Bloomberg]

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