If you've been paying careful attention to bonus predictions for 2015, you might be under the impression that all fixed income traders are going to get punished at bonus time. The Options Group, for example, is forecasting that the average fixed income professional will experience a 4% decline in his/her bonus this year, with securitized product and credit trading teams feeling the greatest pain.
That may be so, but averages can conceal big variations in the specifics. Data from research firm Coalition shows that G10 FX traders have had an exceptionally good first nine months to this year, with revenues rising 60% on the same period of 2014. If they're not paid, there will be tears.
On the whole though, the pundits are right - it's equities salespeople and traders who should be best rewarded in the markets business at bonus time next year (UBS and Deutsche traders excepted).
As the following chart from Coalition shows, it's only equities staff who've increased their productivity in 2015...
However, just as fixed income staff will not be universally punished, equities staff probably won't be universally rewarded. As the chart below shows, futures and options traders had a difficult third quarter and are unlikely to receive the sorts of payments lavished on prime brokerage staff if Q3 revenues are anything to go by...