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Securities Pros Feel Underpaid, Poll Finds

So you think you're underpaid? In a global bonus survey conducted by eFinancialCareers News, 62 percent of securities professionals thought they should have been paid more for their efforts in 2007.

The survey was conducted in the days before Bear Stearns was subsumed by JPMorgan and Bradford & Bingley cast a deathly pallor across the British banking sector. Some 938 users of eFinancialCareers sites around the world responded.

Only 18.6 percent of respondents received bonuses in excess of $200,000. Forty six percent received less than $50,000.

The results may have been skewed by responses from markets such as Singapore, where bonuses are typically lower than those in London and New York. However, the survey also indicates while some people working in financial services make enough to retire while they still have all their hair, the vast majority really don't.

Despite feeling underpaid, 86 percent of respondents said they'd never knowingly misrepresented their role in a transaction to wangle more money from an employer. However, 70 percent said the current system encourages emphasis on short term performance, and 50 percent said the bonus system should be reformed.

What would bonus reform look like? Most people said bonuses should be averaged over the cycle. But a few (three) suggested bonuses should be paid on a monthly basis along with salaries.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Un
    Unanimous
    5 June 2008

    Considering a large portion of the wall street bonuses came in the form of "Restricted Stock Units" or "RSU", the value of these RSU have substantially deteriated, evaporated or disappeared, at the end of the day the results are far worst than what has been published.

  • VA
    VALDIS GAILITIS
    5 June 2008

    I've never counted bonues as part of "salary". The base pay should be suffificient to attract talent. Bonuses skew the picture because there are segments in the industry that will never be viewed as revenue enhancing, even though they have streamlined the processing and created the most cost effective means to conduct business which brought increased profits and more business to the bottom line.

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