Bull Bear Report Nov 04 2010

Bonuses Vary Across Wall Street

By aaron lucchetti

Wall Street bonuses this year may be up slightly, according to a new study featured in The Wall Street Journal. But depending on where you look, the numbers are in fact all over the map.

Take executive pay. The study by compensation consultants Johnson Associates shows that senior management will see that their take-home remains almost flat compared to last year.

But the very top executives who are named in proxy filings could see marked increases of 50% or more in take-home. They're making up for past years, explained Alan Johnson, managing director at the New York firm, who worked on the study. In 2008 and 2009, bonuses for CEOs and CFOs were often lowered because of public disgust over lofty pay at bailed-out banks. This year, they're likely to return to more normal levels. That could be mean $3 million paycheck for someone who got a measly $2 million last year.

Depending on where you work, the pay will vary. Banks that have big trading operations could see bonuses down 20%, while those with a lot of retail branches may see modest increases.

Some of the biggest gains will be at asset management firms, where stock funds have seen gains this year and bond funds have been flooded with new money from investors.

Write to Aaron Lucchetti




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