Bonus Payouts - Early Estimates For Top Firms

Now most of us know that staff at Goldman are probably going to be happy with their bonuses this year. But what about the rest ? In the next couple of weeks, bankers at places like Goldman, Morgan Stanley, Lehman and Bear Stearns will find out what their 2004 bonuses are likely to look like. Institutional Investor is quoting Deutsche analyst Richard Strauss, who looks like he might have some insight into the matter.

Strauss is said to have predicted that Goldman staff could see their bonus pool come in as much as 35% up on last year. The bonus pot at Lehman is said to likely rise by 30% and Morgan Stanley's is thought likely to increase by 25%. Strauss apparently feels that staff bonuses at Merrill Lynch, however, will come in up only around 7% this year. Average bonuses are expected to be 15% up on last year.

Now The Evening Standard's 'City Spy' column has been having a pop at Commerzbank again. And this time it's about bonuses. According to a piece that ran Tuesday, 'many' of the bankers sacked in the recent cull 'have learned that (their) VERBAL guarantees of fat bonuses hold no water'. One unnamed banker, who thought he was due £700,000, apparently walked off with just £70,000.

The column quotes an unnamed former Commerzbank trader, who said 'a lot of us are furious about the way we have been treated. We've consulted lawyers and will fight to the end for what we are owed'. Oh dear, don't the silly sausages realise that a verbal guarantee is not worth the paper it isn't written on ?

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