It's coming up to bonus time, and everyone is trying to get some kind of benchmark on what bonuses are likely to look like this year. We all know that bonus pots will be down on 2007, but it is a question of just how much.
As we have moved through the year, and market conditions have got worse, pots have got smaller. Now Bloomberg has got hold of a memo sent by Jacques d'Estais, the head of corporate and investment banking over at BNP Paribas, to his senior managers. According to the news agency, d'Estais has told his management team that most employees will have their bonuses cut, more people than in the past will receive no bonus at all, and even 'best performers may be affected'.
Pointing out that his unit's pretax profits have fallen 73% in the first three quarters, d'Estais said: 'Our overall bonus pool is therefore likely to show the same YOY decrease'. He continued: 'I am therefore asking you to start managing your teams' bonus expectations now'.
In other news, according to Hedge Fund Research, hedge fund assets worldwide dropped 9% to $1.56 trillion last month, after investor withdrawals and equity market falls.
Finally, Reuters reports that Bryan Marsal will take over from Dick Fuld as CEO of Lehman Brothers Holdings at the year end. The company has now been given approval to hire 480 employees (taking total headcount up to 600), who will be tasked with unwinding thousands of derivative contacts and liquidating what's left of the firm.
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