Thursday's Headlines: Morgan Stanley hikes pay amid Wall Street cuts

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Morgan Stanley raised the pay pool for its investment bankers by 10 percent in the first half of the year Bloomberg reports. The sixth-largest US bank has allocated $4.19 billion to cover salaries, bonuses and benefits, making up approximately 48 percent of revenue at the investment bank. Across all businesses, the bank set aside $9.01 billion for its employees, 9 percent more than in the same period a year ago.

"Companywide compensation, the firm's largest expense, was enough to pay each of its 62,964 employees $143,066 for the six months, up from $133,994 for each of the 61,958 employees at the end of the second quarter of 2010," Bloomberg writes, citing figures from the firm.

Bloomberg notes that Morgan Stanley has increased pay amid cost cuts across Wall Street. Earlier this week, Goldman Sachs said it would cut its compensation pool and lay off 1,000 in an effort to bring down expenses.

Other News:

PNC eyes opportunistic acquisitions after RBC retail buy. [Financial Times]

BBVA Compass to spend $360 million on technology upgrade, hire 300. [Birmingham News]

MetLife may sell depository business to avoid bank regulation. [Business Week]

Harris Bank lays off 475 as it cut costs following Marshall & Illsley acquisition. [Chicago Business]

HSBC sold unsecured written-off loan and credit card assets to JM Financial. [Dow Jones]

Banks continue to slash expenses in order to boost profits. [Wall Street Journal]

Massachusetts sues RBC Capital, former rep over ETF sale. [Investment News]

Citco Fund Services opens Charlotte office, to hire 258 over five years. [Charlotte Observer]

Fidelity's Pyramis Global Advisors opens institutional cash services unit. [Boston Globe]

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