Wall Street Bonuses Were Absolutely Crushed Last Year

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It’s about the time when people on Wall Street take a look back at last year, and it’s looking ugly.According to a survey by eFinancial careers, Wall Street bonuses fell by over a third last year, diving 36%. The front office felt it the most (they, after all, have the most to lose) seeing bonuses fall 38%.

Not only were bonuses lower last year, but also more bankers had their bonuses clawed-back or deferred than in 2011. For example, 19% of respondents to this survey had their bonuses deferred  in 2011 as opposed to 23% in 2012.

Bottom line, this is a “pay-for-performance” environment. Increasingly, banks care about how well individuals do. If your bank does well, great, but it doesn’t mean you’ll be seeing more cash. 

Another thing to consider here is what this does for Wall Street recruiting. Four years after the financial crisis the pain hasn’t stopped. In fact, it will likely be this bad, if not worse, for a bit. That means you people that looked to finance as a career option before are going to look elsewhere.

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