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People are escaping bank with zero bonuses and in-office work

Last week we reported on the exit of Sarah Simon, a senior media analyst from Berenberg and her happy life on gardening leave. This week, it seems that Simon is by far the only recent voluntary exit in the garden.

Sources say Berenberg has lost numerous people in recent months and that like Simon many left of their own accords. 

The other defectors are understood to include the likes of: Chris Bowman, the UK head of investment banking who's just joined Sirius Real Estate as CFO; Michelle Wilson, the head of corporate finance for continental Europe (whereabouts unknown); Javier Gonzalez Lastra, the head of beverages research; Kevin Nor in Paris equity sales (currently being a stay at home dad on gardening leave); Zinnia Satchell, a junior in equity sales; Catharina Claes, another equities analyst; Axel Stasse, Ashton Olds and Lydia Kenny, all senior associates in equity research; mining analyst Charlie Rothbarth (whose exit is understood to be unrelated to bonuses); and Tom Horne in real estate equity research...

Berenberg didn't respond to a request to comment on the exits. They come after the privately owned German bank scrimped on bonuses for 2022. Berenberg is understood to award cash bonuses with a one year clawback when people leave. Once 2021's bonuses had vested, therefore, the absence of any real bonuses for 2022 meant people had no reason to hang around. 

Profits at Berenberg went from €170m in 2021 to just €55m in 2022 and employee numbers went from 1,703 to 1,579 over the same period. Writing on Glassdoor, employees praise Berenberg for its good work-life balance but criticize its multiple recent redundancy rounds. 

Sources who've left the bank say the requirement to be in the office full time is also problematic.

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Photo by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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