Latest On The Bonus Front

The hype on the bonus front continues. And staff at Lehman, Goldman and Morgan Stanley will soon know how big their wads will be, as we fast approach 'tell' day. BMW sales are said to already be up in both the City and on Wall Street. Sales of South Sea pearls and expensive cigars are apparently flourishing. And the drinks celebrations have already started (hosted by those, of course, already sure that they will do alright on the bonus front this year).

And, amidst all this talk of 'loads of money', spare a thought this Xmas time for the little people. How about the cleaners ? Well, they won't get much of a bonus. But at least those who work at Morgan Stanley in London will receive some cheer. According to the Times 'City Diary' column, the firm's cleaners have just been awarded a pay rise to £6.70 an hour (around $12).

Anyway, back to the serious stuff. Here's the latest gossip/rumours on bonuses:

Private bankers in Asia look set for a bumper year. The war on talent in this area is likely to result in bonuses, on average, rising 50% this year. According to a Boston Consulting Group study, base salaries are also likely to take a hike of up to 30%.

Top energy traders are also likely to receive bonuses up 50% (up to $10m each) on last year, as firms will earn around $8bn in commodities-related revenues in 2005.

Finally, it seems it won't be all good news on the comp front if you work in a top US law firm. Sullivan & Cromwell confirmed last week that salaries and bonuses are not likely to increase on last year. And Cravath Swaine & Moore have now come out and said broadly the same thing.

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