If you’re looking for a data point that shows a shift in compensation culture on Wall Street and you took a quick look at the headline of this Bloomberg article, you might think you’ve found it: “Bonuses Met Wall Street Workers’ Expectations, Survey Shows.”
According to an email survey of 1,006 financial sector employees by eFinancialCareers.com, 56 per cent said their bonus met or exceeded their expectations.
So, it sounds like Wall Street is beginning to accept that a different pay scale will be the norm, right?
Not really. The survey only measured expectations. As a result, it speaks more to the lengths Wall Street employees went this year to convince themselves that their pay was going to be terrible than to any absolute measure of satisfaction with that pay.
Is Wall Street really happy with 20 to 30 per cent pay cuts, less cash and more restricted stock that vests over a period of years? Probably not.
Do they think that outcome is better than being fired or getting nothing? Yes! And that’s is precisely the news this survey delivers.