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Late Lunchtime Links: Self-confessedly left wing risk manager bares his soul. Harsh EU bonus cap delayed ’til 2015

The bonus cap

The bonus cap

It’s not always easy working in financial services if you have left wing sympathies. One anonymous operational risk manager from a brokerage firm has taken to the Guardian in an effort to justify himself. His argument in favour of doing his job boils down to two things: it enables him to pay for his wife and family, and individually brokers are actually ok people.

“I consider myself left wing, but I make no apologies for working in finance,” the risk manager told Joris Luyendijk, the journalist and anthropologist who’s been interviewing bankers anonymously for the Guardian. “I have two kids and a wife to support. I haven’t gone on holiday for a couple of years now, but I am not complaining. And yes, I would pay more tax if it meant the NHS would survive.”

The risk manager told Luyendijk that brokers aren’t inherently unpleasant if you get them on your own: “When I talk to them, individually, they are normal people, not evil capitalists or anything.” En-masse, however, brokers are a different story.  “Sometimes a broker will rise, hold up a magazine with a photo of a beautiful woman and shout: “Shag? Marry? Kill?,”  Luyendijk was informed. “Then the rest of the brokers shout their verdicts. Meanwhile the women just laugh it off, “ah guys.”

Separately, the European Union’s left wing cap on the ratio of bonuses to salaries will seemingly be going ahead, with final technical amendments agreed last night by representatives of the European Parliament and Council of the European Union. The good news is that cap won’t come into force until the 2015 bonus round. The very real bad news is that the ratio between salaries and bonuses and bonuses will be capped at 1:2.5 at the very most – and will probably be less than this.

The portion of bonuses paid in long term instruments (deferred over more than five years) is being restricted to 25%. It had been hoped that this proportion would be higher, said Alex Beidas at law firm Linklaters. Bonuses paid in long term instruments will count for less than cash bonuses and short term deferrals when the bonus cap is calculated, she added.

Unfortunately, if only 25% of bonuses can be paid in discounted instruments, then even with a 100% discount rate, the bonus cap can be no more than 1:2.5. Sam Whitaker, an employment lawyer at Shearman & Sterling, said the discount is likely to be far less than 100% and closer to 50% or less. This means that bonuses in the EU are ultimately likely to be capped at 225% of salaries, or lower.

Meanwhile: 

Owners of Nomura’s US building say only 25% of toilets near the trading floor need to be for women. (NY Post) 

Goldman Sachs has hired a new head of its Russian business from UBS. (Bloomberg) 

The chancellor’s decision to scrap stamp duty on UK domiciled funds will help London and Edinburgh capture business from rival offshore centres. (Financial Times) 

Macquarie’s US private equity investments have grown threefold and it’s been hiring for its US financial sponsors team. (Financial News) 

Panmure Gordon has started paying bonuses again. (Bloomberg)

The UK bank levy has increased from 0.13pc to 0.142pc (up 80%) since its introduction in 2011. (Telegraph)

JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, all accelerate payments owed to senior executives if they take government jobs. (Dealbook) 

Do an MBA, end up $117k in debt. (Poets and Quants)

Stress damages virtually every kind of cognition that exists. (Farnam Street) 

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