Brokerage executives at one Wall Street firm, Jefferies Group, have threatened to leave the company if their bonuses aren’t up to par with other firms, the New York Post reports. Though some particularly stellar employees may be able to eventually convince their bosses to give them a bigger share of the bonus pie, nervousness surrounding dismal job prospects on Wall Street will likely keep most bankers quiet.
“It’s a terrible time to be an employee,” Robert Ottinger, a New York-based compensation lawyer told the NYP. “Employers know they have all of the power.”
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Any Jefferies Group employees that decide to walk will likely have to put their money where their mouth is. As Business Insider notes, company CEO Richard Handler recently said the decision to quit won’t be without any financial penalty.
Nervousness about the global economy, new regulations, slow dealmaking and public anger at banks will likely push banks to slash this year’s bonus pool so much that it will be the smallest since the height of the financial crisis in 2008, the Wall Street Journal reports. At Morgan Stanley, some investment bankers may see their bonuses cut by 30 to 40 percent. And at Goldman Sachs, many of the firm’s partners’ compensation could be halved.
Estimates of this year’s Wall Street bonuses have varied widely, but usually see a drop from last year. According to a November survey from consulting firm Johnson Associates Inc., for example, bonuses should fall 20 to 30 percent on average this year. Other surveys predict an average drop of 35 to 40 percent.
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