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Wall Street’s bankers are on track to pocket some serious bonus checks this year as revenues soar and firms up the ante to retain talent.
Wall Street’s legions of financiers, analysts and dealmakers — many of whom have already benefited from recent pay increases — can now expect double-digit bumps to their year-end bonuses, according to newly released data from compensation consulting firm Johnson Associates.
Bonuses for 2021 will be higher by as much as 35 percent in some cases with the biggest boost going to investment banking underwriters amid a surge in multi-billion-dollar deals, like Discovery and NBCUniversal, the data shows.
“When Wall Street does well, they pay well,” Alan Johnson of Johnson Associates explained. “And Wall Street has had their best year in a decade.”
Indeed, banks like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan have posted record earnings as the economy comes roaring back to life.
A boom in deal-making, capital raising and IPOs have all helped to lift investment banking revenues, while the trillions the Federal Reserve has been pumping into markets has lifted many stocks to new highs.
Investment banking advisors and sales and trading professionals can expect their bonuses to increase as much as 25 percent as a result. Asset management professionals, including those managing hedge funds and private equity funds, will see a more modest bump – around 15 percent.
Still, for senior bankers a double-digit bonus increase can be worth hundreds of thousands — or even millions of dollars, Johnson tells The Post.
The bonus bonanza comes as Wall Street throws money at some staffers in an effort to retain talent. Jefferies Financial Group is the latest to bump base pay for junior bankers, the Wall Street Journal recently reported.
First-year analysts working for Richard Handler’s Jefferies will now make $110,000, up from $85,000, while third-year associates will earn $150,000, up from $125,000.
Last week, David Solomon’s Goldman Sachs also boosted base pay for junior bankers 30 percent, resulting in first-year associates earnings $110,000. Earlier this year JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley bumped pay for first-years up to $100,000 from $85,000.
Banks are doling out the beaucoup bucks to keep overworked talent from fleeing amid a dizzying workload thanks to the spike in deals.
In March, a leaked slideshow presentation compiled by 13 junior Goldman Sachs analysts detailed complaints about 100-hour workweeks. Some griped of shifts as long as 20 hours that left them little time to eat, sleep or shower, claiming that the grind damaged their physical and mental health.
The complaints led Goldman and JPMorgan to vow to hire more staff with the latter pledging to boost its headcount by 200. Private equity firm Apollo Global Management has reportedly offered some associates as much as $200,000 to stick around.
Elsewhere, Citibank CEO Jane Fraser told employees she was banning Zoom meetings on Fridays to address Zoom fatigue. Investment bank Jefferies even offered its junior staff the primo Peloton bike as a “thank you” for working long hours.
But with business booming, the sleep deprivation and job anxiety isn’t likely to go away, Johnson said.
“Banks aren’t going to turn business away — the stress and strain for workers will inevitably continue,” Johnson says.
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