Securities Pros Feel Underpaid, Poll Finds

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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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