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There is a distinct chill in the air on Wall Street this morning. It is emanating from executive suites across the financial industry, from which there shall be no help with those fast-rising heating bills.

Industry experts expect that year-end incentive compensation will drop by double digits for many financial services professionals after a year of challenging market conditions.

Those dire predictions of August are freezing into place: Underwriters will have to make due with up to 45% less this holiday season. Asset managers will be down by as much as a quarter. Advisory siders by a fifth. Private equity folks by 15%.

That is, unless you’re good at your job. Or have the right one.

[SloanKlein Associates’ Sloan Klein] noted that “a lot of middle market firms are having a good year,” which translates into better year-end bonuses. The same goes for some credit managers in the hedge fund space.

According to the Johnson Associates’ data, macro hedge fund employees and sales and trading workers at fixed income managers could see a year-over-year improvement in bonus pay of 15 to 20 percent.

“These are hard times, but the traders are making money because now we’ve got volatility,” said recruiter Charles Skorina by phone. “Good traders make money.”

For the mediocrities among you—those lucky enough to still have a job come bonus season, anyway—there is good news: Help is coming to cover those 30% higher heating bills. Not a lot of it, but some.

“We’re seeing salary pools increasing by 4 to 5 percent for next year, which is even higher than the 3 percent historical norms as firms kind of look to battle inflation,” [Johnson Associates vice president Chris] Connors said.

Year-End Compensation for Financial Pros Could Drop by Double Digits, Experts Say [II]

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