2009 Compensation Round Up - All The Top Firms

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There's been a lot of stuff in the media about banker compensation (base salaries and bonuses), so we thought it'd be good to pull it all together.

Here goes:

Bank of America

The bonus pot for the investment bank is said to be around $4.4bn.

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan has confirmed that investment banker bonuses will be made up of a higher percentage of stock this time around. The bank is expected to cut the cash component of bonuses for senior executives to between 5 - 25%, depending on the amount of the payout. Junior bankers may receive up to 75% in cash.

The vesting period for bonuses paid in restricted stock for some investment bankers might be as short as August.

Staff above VP level are said to have had substantial salary increases last year, with some Managing Directors seeing base pay increased by 100%.

Barclays / Barclays Capital

The bank's top 11 executives are likely to have 100% of their 2009 bonuses deferred for up to 3 years (note - the firm's top 2 bankers - John Varley and Bob Diamond - will not take a bonus). The next 2,000 most senior bankers are likely to have 75% of bonuses deferred, with more junior staff receiving 50% in cash, with the remainder in deferred equity.

Barclays is thought to be globalizing the impact of the UK bank bonus tax, ensuring that the pain is felt by employees around the world.

BarCap has confirmed that the 'average' comp for employees for 2009 came out at $299,000. Average bonuses came out at $149,000.

The bank's total bonus pool comes out at $4.23bn, with $2.35bn paid in cash and the remainder in restricted stock. BarCap's bonus pot is thought likely to have been in the region of $3.13bn.

Barclays' 2009 compensation ratio works out at 38% of revenues.

Senior bankers at Barclays Capital are said to have had their base salaries increased by up to 150%. The salary increases were also backdated 6 months.

BNP Paribas

The bank set aside $4.64bn for corporate & investment banking employee compensation in 2009.

Some 27.7% of revenues from the firm's corporate and investment banking unit have been allocated for compensation. The average comp for each person in the division works out at $289,000.

At least 50% of employee bonuses are said to have been paid in restricted stock which will vest in 3 years. The firm's 4,000 front office staff are said to have received a cash bonus pool of $686m.

The bank is said to have increased the base pay of its corporate & investment banking staff by 2-3% on average last year.


The firm has cut its 2009 staff compensation by 20% to $24.98bn (although staff numbers shrank by some 18% throughout the year). Cash bonuses are thought likely to be limited to $100,000, with any remainder being paid in deferred stock.  The vesting period for bonuses paid in restricted stock for some investment bankers might be as short as April.

Base pay is said to have increased for all investment bank VPs and above last year, with some Managing Directors having their salaries increased by over 100%.


The bank has confirmed that there will be no bonuses paid out for 2009

Credit Suisse

The firm is said to have told 400 UK-based Managing Directors that their bonuses have been cut by 30% to take into account the bank bonus tax, and the bank's total investment banking bonus pool is thought to have been cut by 5%.

The firm has confirmed that its 2009 bonus pool will total $6.46bn, and that $3.85bn will be paid out in cash.

Credit Suisse has increased the salaries of 7,000 of its most senior staff.

Deutsche Bank

Some $15.5bn was paid out in compensation by Deutsche for last year (up 18% on 2008), with employees over at the corporate and investment banking division averaging $296,000 each. 39.2% of unit revenues were paid out in compensation.

The bank said that it paid $3.01bn in bonuses out to staff who conducted 'high risk' business, although the bank didn't define what 'high risk business' actually was.

25% of bonuses over $136,000 will be paid in restricted stock. The marginal deferral rate will increase with the size of bonus payout, with top earners receiving as much as 90% of their bonus awards in deferred equity.

Deutsche is also said to be looking at increasing base salaries by as much as 30%, as it moves to change its salary / bonus compensation mix.

Goldman Sachs

Goldman took $519m out of its compensation pot when it reported fourth-quarter earnings last week, donating $500m to charitable causes. Total compensation paid to employees in 2009 came in at $16.2bn, and represented 35.8% of revenues - the lowest level since the firm went public in 1999.

The 'average' Goldman employee is to receive $498,246 for his (or her) toils last year. The firm has capped the pay of its 100 London-based Managing Director Partners' compensation to a maximum of $1.6m each, in view of the UK bonus tax and the political climate.

Goldman's Managing Director Partners were told that 60% of their bonuses would be paid in restricted stock, with the rest in cash. The firm has already confirmed that its top 30 executives will receive all of their bonuses in deferred equity. 

The firm is also said to have increased the base pay of many VP-level staff by up to 50%.


HSBC has confirmed that staff over at its investment bank will receive bonuses which represent around 25% of the unit's 2009 revenues. The bank is said to be the only major UK company with a large investment banking presence to cut investment banking pay in 2009.


The total amount to be paid out in staff bonuses for 2009 is a modest $727m. Many bonuses will be paid in restricted stock, and subject to a clawback arrangement.

Jefferies & Co

The 'average' employee will be paid $455,000 for 2009, with even those on significantly higher payouts receiving 85% in cash.

CEO Richard Handler could bag as much as $12m.


The firm has set aside $9.3bn in compensation at the investment bank, which represents 33% of division revenues (down from 62% in 2008). The 'average' investment banking employee will receive some $378,600.

The firm is said to have tightened its bonus clawback provisions to include any employee who is found to have taken on excessive risk, and any staff member who did not whistle-blow on bad risk taking.


The firm's 2009 staff compensation pot came in at 71.8% of revenues, and 63% of bonuses are understood to have been paid out in cash. The 'average' employee was paid around $460,000 for his / her work last year.

Morgan Stanley

2009 compensation came in at $14.4bn, with the 'average' employee making $235,000. The firm, however, has allocated a massive 62% of last year's revenues to staff pay - it's highest ratio for over a decade.

The firm is said to have revised its bonus clawback provisions to enable it to reclaim bonuses for 3 years in the event of subsequent realizable losses.

Base pay is said to have been increased for many, with Managing Directors seeing increases of up to 125%.

Nordea Bank

Reported to have paid out $390m in bonuses for 2009 in order to retain its best employees.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)

The bank is to pay out $2bn in bonuses for 2009 to its Global Banking & Markets staff, which represents 27% of revenues and is up some 44% on 2008. The revenue pay-out ratio is said to be the lowest reported ratio for major investment banks for 2009. And the 'average bonus for unit staff is $117,647.

RBS has also confirmed that some Global Banking & Markets staff have had their base pay increased following a salary benchmarking exercise. Media reports suggest that, in some instances, banker base pay doubled.

Societe Generale

The has confirmed that it is to pay $340m in bonuses to its front office staff for their work in 2009, and that 55% of all bonuses will be paid out in restricted stock.

SocGen is said to be resisting attempts to increase the base pay of its investment bankers, insisting that compensation must be performance-related.

Standard Chartered

The bank has confirmed it will pay out $1.1bn in bonuses for 2009, .


The bank has confirmed that it has cancelled most employee bonuses for 2009.


The bank's 2009 bonus pot will total $2.7bn, up some 34% on 2008.

CEO Oswald Gruebel has said that he won't be taking a bonus for 2009.

Senior employees who bag bonuses of over $250,000 are to receive 60% of their payouts in restricted stock, which will vest over three years. The bonuses will also be subject to clawback arrangements.

The bank is said to have increased base salaries for senior investment banking staff by an average of 50% last year, with Managing Directors seeing increases of up to 125%.


             We will be updating this list as more information becomes available.

Sources - Bloomberg, Dow Jones Newswires, Reuters, The Daily Telegraph, The New York Post, The New York Times, The Times, The Wall Street Journal

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