The News: BofA's Bonus Pool Is Big on Restricted Stock

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Employees at Bank of America's investment bank are to receive bonuses averaging $400,000 each, the bulk of it in restricted stock, according to several published reports citing unnamed sources within the firm.

Bloomberg News reports the 2009 bonus pool for the investment banking division's 10,000 employees totals $4.4 billion. "Those receiving the smallest bonuses will get about half their compensation in cash, paid later this month," the story says. At the upper end of BofA's title hierarchy, as much as 95 percent will be paid in stock vesting over about three years.

Bloomberg's source says this year's bonus pool compares with a combined $6.5 billion for both Bank of America and Merrill Lynch in the peak year of 2006.

The bank also disclosed in a regulatory filing that it raised base salaries of its CEO by almost 20 percent and of the heads of its consumer and home loans and insurance units by 60 percent.

A BofA spokesman told the news service: "We attempted to balance the need to pay competitively with our understanding of the general concern over the level of compensation on Wall Street. The most important thing is that much more of year-end compensation is now deferred and tied to long-term stock performance and there are clawbacks."

Bank of America Said to Pay Bankers Average Bonus of $400,000 Share Business [Bloomberg News]

Despite Critics, AIG Sets Bonuses [WSJ]

Dodd Calls Obama Plan Too Grand [NY Times]

Dodd Vents Over Handling of Bank Proposal [WSJ]

Citigroup Flags Asia Revenue Growth [FT]

Lazard Posts 4th-Quarter Loss on Compensation Charges [NY Times]

Lazard will give employees more cash and deferred stock in the future and will eliminate deferred cash payouts. It says the change would give it better flexibility in retaining employees, especially senior-level ones.

Multimillion-Pound Payments At Credit Suisse Will Escape Bonus Tax [Times of London]

Deutsche Bank Sponsors B-School Initiative [Investment Dealers' Digest]

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