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Wall Street directors getting a pass on pay

Compensation on Wall Street is down across the board, unless of course you’re on the board.

High pay for directors at large banks has gone largely unnoticed, mainly because the compensation pales in comparison to the cash hoards earmarked for C-level executives. Average board member pay at the six largest U.S. banks reached $328,655 in 2011, nearly $100,000 more than what other non-financial institutions paid, according to the New York Times, citing compensation data firm Equilar.

Unsurprisingly, Goldman Sachs led the group in director pay, doling out an average of $488,709 in 2011, the last year data was available. The number is expected to increase substantially for 2012 due to Goldman’s strong end of the year.

Unnamed Wall Street executives tell the Times that the figures are surprising for two reasons. One: it’s a part time job. Most board members have several major responsibilities outside of the bank’s board room.

Secondly, the role of the board has been diminished, in some degree, due to new regulations imposed on Wall Street. Boards are now more guided in their decisions, especially when it comes to executive pay.

Moreover, the breakdown in director pay doesn’t seem all that equitable. Average compensation at Bank of America and J.P. Morgan was nearly $100,000 less than the average at Morgan Stanley and more than $200,000 less than the average at Goldman. And this was in 2011, before the ‘London Whale’ trading debacle surfaced, and when Goldman was less than spectacular.

Japanese Resurgence (Bloomberg)

Japanese brokerages firms are back to their old tricks, hiring recent graduates in droves. Nomura’s domestic securities unit hired 650 graduates yesterday, the most since 2009, while Daiwa Securities increased its latest class by 50 percent to about 450.

Plan B (Barron’s)

Goldman Sachs has launched a new unit that will invest in high-risk corporate debt. The new offshoot is called Goldman Sachs Liberty Harbor Capital. Goldman declined to comment on any hiring plans.

Best You’ve Never Heard Of (Bloomberg)

Meet Mark Mulholland, founder of the bible-inspired Matthew 25 Fund, “the best investor around that no one has ever heard of.” Bloomberg Markets magazine ranked Mulholland’s fund No. 1 in the U.S. diversified stock category.

Timing is Everything (WSJ)

The irony surrounding the highly-publicized Herbalife fight: All three hedge fund giants – William Ackman, Daniel Loeb and Carl Icahn – are currently in the black in the investment, despite taking different sides of the bet.

Doubling Headcount (Financial News)

U.S.-based Vanguard Asset Management plans to double its U.K. staff to 200 by the end of the year. The hires will focus on the fund provider’s sales, capital markets teams and in-house legal teams.

Déjà Vu (FIN Alternatives)

Madoff trustee Irving Picard sued J.P. Morgan, Bernie Madoff’s chief bank, in 2010, seeking $21 billion in damages, but saw the suit dismissed. Now, U.S. investigators are looking into whether the bank broke federal laws by failing to disclose suspicious transactions made by Madoff.

Branch Closings (WSJ)

The decline of high-paying banking jobs in New York has been well-reported. What’s gone under the radar, though, is the exodus of lower-paying local branch jobs. U.S. banks and thrifts shut 2,267 branches in 2012.

Comeback Kid? (NY Times)

Business Insider’s Henry Blodget got the boot from the securities industry a decade ago, but he hasn’t closed the door to a comeback in some form or another.

Buzz Around the Office

Mask Goes On Before, Not During

Crime isn’t funny, unless of course you’re watching a failed robbery attempt where the suspect literally does everything wrong, including falling over…twice.

List of the Day: Resume Lies

Candidates fudge facts on their resumes all the time. Here are the three most common fabrications.

  1. Work dates.
  2. Skills (conversational French, really?)
  3. Job titles.

(Source: AOL Jobs)

AUTHORBeecher Tuttle US Editor

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