Bloomberg News reports that incentive pay for fixed-income sales and trading may fall 10 to 15% this year, Johnson said in a report on Wednesday. In May, it had projected the drop will be 15 to 20%. For bankers handling corporate deals, pay will probably decline 5 to 15%. That, too, is slightly more optimistic than May’s estimate for 10 to 15%.
“We’re just not quite as negative as we were two or three months ago,” Alan Johnson, founder and managing director of the consultancy, said in a phone interview. The U.K. vote to leave the European Union, for example, may not erode revenue in the year’s second half as much as previously thought, he said. “Things have stabled out some.”
The less-bad outlook, no matter how incremental, is one of few positive signals recently for financial industry workers before managers make year-end decisions on compensation and staffing. Other signs are foreboding. Bank leaders have said they’ll keep focusing on cost cuts to combat stalling revenue, while asset managers face customer ire for lackluster returns. That’s been spurring firings and fund liquidations.
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