Discover your dream Career
For Recruiters

Barclays is done making it rain

Following discussions and decisions over pay at Barclays has been like watching mediocre reality television. It’s not scripted, per say, but you scratch your head and wonder aloud whether what you are watching is indeed reality.

Let’s start back in March, when Barclays, coming off a year in which it lost money, decided to increase its bonus pool. Investors, as one would imagine, went bananas. Chief Executive Antony Jenkins, in what has been his most quotable moment, said the pay increases were necessary to avoid a “death spiral” of defections, particularly by U.S. bankers. More than 250 U.S. investment bankers at Barclays made over $1.5 million for 2013, more than double the number of those in the UK.

But then, soon after bonuses were paid and investor fervor mellowed (with time), Barclays’ bankers in New York started leaving anyway, whether they were pushed out or left on their own volition. Skip McGee, head of its US investment bank, Paul Parker, global head of mergers, top tech rainmaker Stuart Francis and a host of others left within months of bonuses being doled out.

There was no death spiral – Barclays is still open for business – but the bonus pool increase didn’t appear work all that well, unless the U.K. bank had no problem with losing those particular bankers.

Either way, six months later, Barclays has changed its tune when it comes to pay. Jenkins came out on Thursday and said that Barclays investment bank will employ “less very highly paid people.” Indeed, he appeared to be telling the truth.

In the city of London, senior managers are getting paid around 280,000 pounds at Barclays, compared with 461,000 pounds at J.P. Morgan, according to Bloomberg. That ranks them a humble 13th in the pay rankings. No data was available for the U.S., but Jenkins appeared to be speaking from a global perspective.

So, to wrap things up, Barclays paid bankers a bunch of money in a losing year, they get yelled at, the people left anyway, and now they’re done paying huge salaries.

Elsewhere in the land of banker pay, compensation for money managers at hedge funds is up around 8%, which also doesn’t make that much sense.

MBAs Work Best In New York (eFinancialCareers)

Will a CFA or MBA do more for you in New York than in other parts of the world? Our database says yes.

How to Thrive and Survive in Investment Banking (eFinancialCareers)

Despite recent efforts, investment banks still suffer from a high burnout rate. Three high profile bankers spoke at the LSE Investment Banking Conference this week to give students a few tips on how to avoid burnout and survive in investment banking.

When Pessimism Is Good For Business (Bloomberg)

Credit hedge funds aren’t doing particularly well from a returns standpoint, but they’re crushing it when it comes to funding. They amassed $40.57 billion in assets during the first three quarters of the year, the most since 2007. Investors who are leery of a market correction want their money with funds that can go short, like credit hedge funds.

Gross Alone and at Peace (FT)

Janus Capital Chief Dick Weil is thrilled to have former Pimco founder Bill Gross as part of the team, but pulls no punches when it comes to Gross’s baggage. Weil acknowledged that Gross is “very demanding” and needs to be managed with kid’s gloves. He has Gross working comfortably behind a closed door.

Dear Washington: Leave Us Alone (Bloomberg)

Here’s what banks are looking for under the new Republican-led Congress: nothing. They don’t expect any repeals, but just hope for some peace and quiet. No being dragged down to Washington, no talk of breaking up banks, and no being picked on by regulators.

Get Off My Lawn (Fox Business)

“Hippie Retreat or Wall Street Powerhouse?” That’s the awesome headline Fox Business’ Charlie Gasparino picked for an article that breaks down the culture change at Merrill Lynch under John Thiel, the head of the brokerage unit. It’s all wheatgrass shots and meditating over at Merrill, Gasparino says, and brokers are quitting because of it. Gasparino is an American treasure.

Kelly’s Boss In the Muck (NY Post)

Here’s one of those stories Jefferies CEO Richard Handler was warning would come following the saga surrounding Sage Kelly. Articles about 15-year-old court settlements involving current Jefferies employees who weren’t employees at the time of the lawsuit. It’s about STDs, mostly.

Buzz Around the Office

Black Tie Very Optional (CNN)

An Indiana couple with an apparent love of Southwest Airlines decided the airline would be a great venue for their wedding. They were married via the intercom on a flight to Nashville along with 30 friends and family. Oh, and 100 complete strangers.

Quote of the Day: “Thiel has served wheatgrass and cucumber juice during meetings when just wine and beer would have done in the old days. He has encouraged brokers to take naps during the trading day, these people say. And speaks in the language of exotic spirituality, rather than finance.” – Charlie Gasparino on Merrill Lynch’s new boss

AUTHORBeecher Tuttle US Editor

Sign up to Morning Coffee!

Coffee mug

The essential daily roundup of news and analysis read by everyone from senior bankers and traders to new recruits.

Boost your career

Find thousands of job opportunities by signing up to eFinancialCareers today.
Latest Jobs
Selby Jennings
Portfolio Manager - Crypto Market Making
Selby Jennings
New York, United States
AXA Investment Managers
VIE - Machine Learning Engineer
AXA Investment Managers
Orinda, United States

Sign up to Morning Coffee!

Coffee mug

The essential daily roundup of news and analysis read by everyone from senior bankers and traders to new recruits.