We hear that the minority of Bear bankers who escape the hatchet are being paid handsomely to join Jamie’s world.
A senior JPMorgan banker says Bear Stearns’ Canary Wharf staff are typically on higher base salaries than his current colleagues, but that contrary to rumours that Dimon is picking them up for a pittance, JPMorgan is matching their current rates.
Apparently not. According to our source, the discrepancy in pay will be evened out at bonus time, when the ex-Bear bankers will be paid less generously than their JP counterparts.
However, higher salaries aren’t the only obstacle en route to a harmonious union between the Bear bankers and their JPMorgan saviours. Apparently job titles at Bear Stearns are also a little out of kilter with the rest of the industry (almost everyone’s a VP or MD), and a lot of its people are used to bonuses based on a percentage of their production rather than the usual ‘discretionary’ formula.
A headhunter confirms this to be the case. “Like Goldman, Bear had two levels of managing director – normal managing directors and senior managing directors – and we regularly saw base salaries of 160k-170k for SMDs, which is unusual given 140k is usually the ceiling.”
He adds that second and third-year associates at other banks were typically VPs at Bear Stearns, which means some of Bear’s bankers could find themselves swiftly demoted in their new home.