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Morning Coffee: Consultants complain they're working more than peers, for less. Deutsche bonus reassurance

It's hard out there for a consultant.

Despite the surging popularity of consulting jobs, there remains one big downside for anyone choosing consulting over the financial sector – the pay. Even consultants at a Big Three firm rarely reach the dizzy heights of banking, private equity or hedge fund compensation.

Elton Kent, an Indian employee of Accenture, one of the largest U.S. consulting firms, sued the company last year, claiming that he and hundreds of workers who participated in the Global Careers Program were discriminated against. The complaint alleged that he was paid less than American employees and received fewer benefits, lamenting that he didn’t get paid paternity leave, whereas as Caucasian men allegedly did.

Accenture settled the case for $500k without admitting or denying wrongdoing, then launched “Inclusion Starts With I,” an internal program meant to raise awareness of bias in the workplace. A video appears on the company’s website with people holding signs detailing their run-ins with discrimination, including a woman whose sign says there’s a strain when conversations aren’t in her first language and a black man who decries “being labeled entitled and lacking drive,” according to Bloomberg.

Last week, a Muslim Indian man sued Accenture again, bringing allegations similar to Kent’s. Mohammed Ali alleged that he was paid a lower salary and demoted, and that he didn’t receive an annual bonus, because of his race and religion, despite exceeding annual sales targets every year except for the fiscal year 2015. Ali claims he was paid less than his counterparts and was given a $50m sales target, while his presumably non-Muslim, non-Indian colleagues had targets of $30m.

His manager, who is white and who knew Ali is a practicing Muslim, justified the elevated target by telling Ali he “wasn’t going to be like Bernie Sanders and give handouts,” according to the complaint, and also told Ali he agreed “with all of Trump’s views.” The statements were allegedly made during the first half of 2016 when then-candidate Donald Trump was calling for a Muslim immigration ban.

Ali ended the fiscal year with $40.9 million in sales. The complaint alleged that the company “shorted” him on other deals, “so as to falsely deflate Mr. Ali’s sales production for the year.” Ali claims he was demoted shortly thereafter.

In a statement, Accenture said it’s committed “to inclusion and diversity” and “that no one should be discriminated against because of their differences” but that Ali’s claims “are without merit.”

In 2016, Asians made up 34%, or 16,262 people, of the more than 47,000 employees in the company’s U.S. workforce.

Separately, there’s good news and bad news for Deutsche Bank employees. Deutsche might have reported a drop of 25% in investment banking revenues, but it's still paying. CEO John Cryan plans to keep his promise to return to the bank’s normal compensation programs – meaning it will pay higher bonuses in 2017 after a sharp cut last year in an effort to prevent defections, according to Reuters.

A return to bigger bonuses would be a relief for bankers at Deutsche Bank where total bonus payments dropped from 2.4 billion euros ($2.79bn) in 2015 to 546 million euros ($635.5m) last year after a multi-billion-dollar legal fine for the sale of toxic debt.


A London court ruled that Stuart Scott, the former head of currency trading for EMEA at HSBC, can be extradited to the U.S. to face fraud charges, three days after his old boss was convicted of the same allegations. (Bloomberg)

As Barclays CEO Jes Staley tries to run a profitable investment bank on the cheap, shares in the British bank slumped as the bank reported its trading division struggled in the third quarter. (WSJ)

Harvey Schwartz, the president and co-COO of Goldman Sachs sold 25k shares of the firm’s stock worth $6.125m in total. (Ledger Gazette)

There’s a big reason you should think twice before jumping from financial services to a tech startup. (Bloomberg)

What is worrying billionaire hedge fund manager Ray Dalio at the moment? The bond market. (Bloomberg)

With no publicly named successor to CEO Steve Schwarzman, who is likely to lead Blackstone next? (Bloomberg)

KKR's third-quarter results aren't anything to write home about, but it did ink two long-term strategic investor partnerships totaling $7bn. (Bloomberg)

First regulators blocked Deutsche Börse’s merger with the London Stock Exchange Group, and now its CEO is forced to step down amid an insider trading scandal. (New York Times)

Wall Street firms also dodged a bullet as the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a relief letting banks take direct payments for research without it being considered investment advice. (WSJ)

Nordea, the Nordic region’s biggest bank, is cutting at least 6,000 jobs. (FT)

Bias, not differences in behavior, seems to explain why women aren’t advancing professionally as quickly as similarly qualified men. (Harvard Business Review)

President Trump asked a TV host his opinion about who should be the next chair of the Federal Reserve. (Business Insider)

Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council and Trump's top economic advisor, is planning a White House exit as soon as tax reform is done. (Business Insider)

Millennials’ willingness to discuss once-secret topics like annual salary and paths to promotion is leading some companies to make pay policies more transparent. (WSJ)

Photo credit: Rawpixel/GettyImages

AUTHORDan Butcher US Editor

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