Client Satisfaction Growing Factor In Bonuses

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Client satisfaction will become the key determinant of bonuses for capital markets bankers, according to a new study.

Corporate demand for customized risk management tools will lead to an increased emphasis on client service, said the study by the management and technology consultant BearingPoint. the firm expects banks' compensation structures will evolve to reflect this emphasis.

Carl Sjostrom, a partner in KPMG's executive compensation practice, says banks are already experimenting in the use of client satisfaction as a factor in determining bonus. "Big banks increasingly recognize the need to base pay on measures other than financial performance," he says.

Customer satisfaction surveys are most common at universal banks, which already use them to measure happiness among retail clients, Sjostrom added.

But a vice president in the compensation and benefits division of one U.S. bank doubts client satisfaction surveys have much of a future at pure investment banks. "It's one thing to ask a client whether they're happy with the service they're receiving, but it's another thing entirely to ask them to fill out a questionnaire," he says. "Clients are far too busy."

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