Anyone interested in the extent to which Wall Street pay has changed in recent years should read the most recent column by the WSJ's Dennis Berman.
Berman sat down with an anonymous Wall Street "paymaster" and got a blow-by-blow of compensation for median mid-career i-bankers pre- and post-crisis. As one would expect there are a lot of moving parts -- total comp has come down, bonuses have come down and salaries have gone up.
But if you crunch the numbers a step further, you come up with two telling data points: 36% and 49%. Those figures represent the share of total compensation that is deferred. Back in the salad days of 2007, slightly more than one-third of pay didn't vest for at least a year. Now, almost half of all wages fall into that category.
In most cases, if a banker leaves before those payouts come due, they forfeit that money. As Berman points out, that has a "chilling" effect on how Wall Street workers think about career moves and how banks and brokerages think about hiring.
In other words, whether bankers earn more or less these days is a bit of a moot question. Banking is, and will continue to be, a lucrative profession.
What's more notable is that the war for talent on Wall Street has slowly switched from an arms race -- marked by ever-increasing bonus bombs -- to something more subtle and strategic.
CFO for Hire (FINS)
Forget the rat-race. Temp CFOs are hauling in up to $200,000 a year, filling a need for firms too skittish about the economy to hire.
Speaking of Pay (FINS via DJ)
Barclays executives sat through a hailstorm of criticism over pay at an annual meeting Wednesday. Roughly one in 10 voting shareholders cast a ballot against the bank's compensation plan. Apparently, Bob Diamond was wrong about it being time for critics to move on.
Swiss Slide (Credit Suisse)
Credit Suisse reported a 45% drop in first-quarter income Wednesday. The firm added about 100 workers to its i-bank and trimmed 100 in asset management, but otherwise kept staffing stable.
A Halt to Hanky-Panky? (FINS)
Sexual harassment charges declined in the past decade but retaliation accusations are up. Experts say firms have simply gotten better at nipping harassment in the bud.
Bullish Boutique (WSJ)
Enterprising bankers would do well to keep Lazard on their radar. The firm declined to say if it's been hiring, but it put up solid Q1 earnings Wednesday.
Is Enough Never Enough? (NYT)
William D. Cohan, i-banker turned author, weighs in on why the uber-rich often skirt the law for more money. The answer lies in Wall Street's most-overvalued commodity: ego.
Related: How to Get Ahead at Goldman
Major League Baseball has long recruited Ivy League number crunchers. The latest crop of baseball includes three former players from Harvard.
Related: MLB's Epic Campaign (FINS Sales & Marketing)
Citi Spikes Stein (Bloomberg)
Citi cancelled a speaking appearance by economist/comedian Ben Stein after a business partner said Stein made sexist remarks at a March event in Dallas. One of the jokes in question was about a wealthy man, his wife and his mistress. The punchline? No comment.
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