Investment banks need to keep their juniors happy. The hiring frenzy that forced most firms to hike pay for their analysts and associates by 20-25% may be subsiding in favour of building the mid-ranks, but juniors still have plenty of options available to them.
Bonus season may is fast-becoming a distant memory, but telling statistics from pay benchmarking firm Emolument.com suggest that most junior bankers were not at all happy with the way it went..
Nearly 70% of associates working ay BNP Paribas were dissatisfied with their bonus this year and just 11% said that it met their expectations. At Citigroup, 60% of associates said that their bonus was disappointing, and even J.P. Morgan – which topped league tables globally – 51% said were not happy with their bonuses.
So which bank has paid its juniors to their satisfaction? Morgan Stanley.
47% of Morgan Stanley associates said they were happy with their bonuses. The bank's generosity follows a 25% base pay increase implemented in January.
This year, however, investment banks have switched their attention to VP recruitment. This is bad news for Deutsche Bank, whose mid-ranking staff look particularly squeezed and prone to being poached. Just 7% of VPs at Deutsche Bank said they were happy with their bonus this year, less than half of those at SocGen, where 15% said they were satisfied.
Deutsche Bank is under pressure to cut costs, particularly as its managing directors are pushing up compensation costs for its material risk takers, and has recently rolled out back-dated pay increases for its associates to earlier this year in an attempt to play catch up.
Bonus satisfaction was generally low at VP level within most investment banks this year. Although fewer VPs at J.P. Morgan (36%) were unhappy with their bonuses than at any other bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch had the highest proportion of mid-ranking bankers (38%) saying they were satisfied with their bonuses.
Overall, BNP Paribas bankers are least satisfied with this year's bonus payments and Morgan Stanley employees are happiest.