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Maybe Deutsche Bank traders should earn as much as JPMorgan's?

Fixed income traders at Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan experienced differing levels of success in 2023. Deutsche Bank's fixed income revenues fell 10% and JPMorgan's rose 1%, but on one measure at least, their bonuses should have been comparable. 

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Data from market intelligence firm Tricumen suggests that JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank’s Fixed Income, Currencies, and Commodities (FICC) traders generated comparable levels of operating revenue per front office Full Time Employee (FTE) in 2023.

While this may be so, compensation at the two banks seems very different. Deutsche Bank’s traders are not expecting to receive very high bonuses when they're announced next week. Senior staff at the bank have reportedly been busy “managing expectations," with even top performers expecting a decline. New hires have depleted the bonus pool. 

JPMorgan traders already know their bonuses and appear happier. One headhunter told us that JPMorgan people are happier than the rest. Compensation spending in the corporate and investment bank rose by 9% year-on-year in the fourth quarter.

Operating Revenue per front office FTE for select bank teams, 2023

The chart above shows the relative performance of FICC and equities traders at select investment banks, measured as operating revenue per front office Full Time Employee (FTE). The dashed black circle represents the peer group average, whilst the notches on each bank's spoke represent the distance, measured by half a standard deviation, from the peer group average. The further away from the center you are, the better and on the FICC chart, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank traders are roughly equal.

Measured in terms of revenues per FTE, Tricumen says the most successful traders last year were at Goldman Sachs. They were two standard deviations above the peer group average for both FICC and equities trading. This might be why Goldman Sachs traders had some big bonus expectations last year. In fixed income trading at least, headhunters suggested they weren't met.

Both Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan had relatively moderate bonus expectations when we surveyed them at the end of 2023, although we didn’t break down expectations for their sales and trading teams in particular.

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AUTHORZeno Toulon
  • Ki
    Kim123
    28 February 2024

    ”The further away from the center you are, the better and on the FICC chart, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank traders are roughly equal” - should this say JPM and DB, not GS and DB? Or am I reading the chart wrong?

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