Morning Coffee Feb 13 2012

Barclays Joins the Pack

By julie steinberg

The good news is Barclays isn't planning a major layoff. The bad news is, like at many other banks, management decided to shrink the bonus pool this year for the investment bank.

"There is no plan as such" to embark on a massive job-cutting initiative in 2012, Chief Executive Bob Diamond said on Friday. Firms such as HSBC and Bank of America are each cutting 30,000 jobs.

Instead, Barclays seems content to cut costs by slicing compensation at its investment bank.

Cash bonuses this year will be limited to 65,000 pounds. Compensation for top executives will sliced by almost half. In addition, average bonuses for the unit will be 64,000 pounds, down from 91,169 pounds in the year earlier period.

Banks tend to move in packs and this year's bonus season is no exception; several, including Barclays, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank are capping bonuses and increasing deferrals.

Singaporean Comeback (SFGate)

Even though the second half of 2011 saw layoffs in Asia, one consultant in Singapore expects the number of finance professionals to increase in 2012.

Layoffs Continue (Financial News)

As part of its announced overhaul of its investment bank, Royal Bank of Scotland will wind down areas of its equity capital markets and cash equities business.

U.S. Eliminations (Reuters)

Tokyo-based Nomura, which is reversing its strategy of expansion in some parts of the world, laid off 25 employees at its U.S. brokerage Instinet.

Nice Guys Finish Last (Harvard Business Review)

If you aren't getting that promotion or raise, you may be too nice. A study finds that people who are too agreeable make significantly less than people who aren't.

Scaling Back (The Globe and Mail)

Would a three-day workweek work at your company? One British think tank is hoping to spread that gospel.

Stronger, Faster, Smarter (FT)

Financial executives are lining up to get a jolt. Not of caffeine, mind you, but of testosterone, so they can keep up their game.

Buzz Around the Office

Delicate Touch (YouTube)

Carefully stacking beer bottles with a ping-pong ball on top.

List of the Day: Surviving a Conference

It can be intimidating to go to a conference alone. Here are some tips to make it through.

1. Wear an outfit that makes you feel confident.

2. Chat with the speakers if you don't see anyone you recognize in the crowd.

3. Talk to the person closest to you and try to move beyond small talk.

(Source: The Daily Muse)

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