Who Got More of Their Fired Colleagues' Bonus Money?

Congratulations: You've survived. Or, you haven't and are still bitterly reading a Wall Street blog. No matter. The first group of you may be 1,000 members fewer this year, but you'll be $20 billion richer by the time the last bonus checks go out.
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Congratulations: You've survived. Or, you haven't and are still bitterly reading a Wall Street blog. No matter. The first group of you may be 1,000 members fewer this year, but you'll be $20 billion richer by the time the last bonus checks go out.

New York securities firms will pay employees $20 billion in cash bonuses, up from $18.5 billion for 2011. The projected increase follows a steep decline of 19% for such payouts a year ago. Even so, bonuses remain about 42% below the lofty levels of 2006, when the pool totaled $34.3 billion….

The average cash bonus rose 9% to roughly $121,900. The figure increased more than the total cash bonus pool because it was shared among fewer workers than the prior year, the report said.

Employment totaled 169,700 jobs as of December 2012, 1,000 fewer jobs than in December 2011, as the securities industry shrank again In response to fearful markets and muted client activity. The report estimated that Wall Street lost 28,300 job from November 2007 to January 2010, but has added only 8,500 so far during the recovery from the global financial crisis.

Wall Street's Cash Bonus Pool Hits $20 Billion [WSJ]

Related

Bonus Watch '13: Jim Gorman Gives Employees The Option To Either Take Their Bonus In Three Easy Installments

Since taking the reigns at Morgan Stanley in 2010, CEO James Gorman has guided the firm with a managerial style that boils down to telling people, more or less: You'll get it when you've earned it, "it" being anything from personal space to money to his respect. On the point of compensation, last year he told employees complaining about what they were paid to either open a newspaper and get over themselves or do everyone a favor and quit. Today brings news that this year, he's doubling down on that mandate and daring anyone to make something of it.

Bonus Watch '12: Jefferies Has Got Your Cold Hard Cash Right Here

Back in the day, as in pre-crisis, bonus season on Wall Street was a happy time. Sure, you still had your miserable pricks who would bitch and moan about the fact that they hadn't gotten as much as the guy who sat next to them, even they the guy who sat next to them was a "non-contributing zero who wouldn't recognize alpha if it bit him in the ass," but prior to to fall 2008, anyone who was unhappy about his or her bonus was a) quibbling over receiving a huge sum of money instead of an imperial fuck-ton of money and b) in a position to actually make good on a threat to jump ship, since firms were hiring. Now, with a few exceptions, bonus season makes people feel sad. Angry. Impotent. Like the world is out to get them. Not only has the total amount of one's bonus come down, but many companies have decreased the cash portion, while increasing the deferral period on stock to, in some cases, almost half a decade. Then you have Jefferies. Last year it let employees decide between an all stock bonus or an all cash bonus with 25% lopped off.  This year the investment bank-cum-butcher shop isn't even forcing anyone to choose, instead dumping a bag of cash on everyone's desk and reminding them who loves 'em.

Layoffs/Bonus Watch '12/13: Morgan Stanley

Back in January, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman sent a simple messages to his employees, who had been grumbling about their pay: STFU or GTFO. "You're naive, read the newspaper, No.1," Gorman told Bloomberg he would say to any members of his staff that wanted to give him lip about their compensation to his face. "No. 2, if you put your compensation in a one-year context to define your over all level of happiness, you have a problem which is much bigger than this job. And No. 3, if you're really unhappy, just leave." Today, in an interview with the FT, Gorman reiterated his stance and added that in addition to reducing compensation for current employees, the bank will likely be drastically cutting pay for future analysts. If anyone has a problem with that, consider applying for a gig at Bank of Mythical Pre-Crisis Era Bonuses. Alternatively, Gorman is happy to discuss a compensation plan in which you'll be awarded shares of his foot in your ass, which vest immediately. In the latest sign of the pressure Wall Street is under to cut costs and address high pay levels, James Gorman, chief executive, said that staff and remuneration would have to be sacrificed as banks cope with lower profits. “There’s way too much capacity and compensation is way too high,” Mr Gorman said in an interview with the Financial Times. “As a shareholder I’m sort of sympathetic to the shareholder view that the industry is still overpaid.” Morgan Stanley itself is already axing 4,000 jobs, 7 per cent of its workforce, by the end of this year. In the new year, Mr Gorman said, the bank will consider its next round of cost-cutting, including lower pay and bonuses. News of further pay cuts, including potentially for new entrants at the investment bank, comes just weeks after Goldman Sachs confirmed it was overhauling its well-known entry-level programme for analysts. Goldman was said to have tired of the number of analysts in the programme who left the bank for hedge funds. Mr Gorman said that Morgan Stanley will probably keep its own analyst programme, but pay could be reduced significantly. Morgan Stanley Chief Warns On Wall Street Pay [FT] Earlier: James Gorman To Employees: STFU Or GTFO