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Merrill throwing money at top trader

UBS may be eliminating swathes of trading jobs, but Merrill Lynch has shown that banks are still prepared to pay big, big money for the right person.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Merrill’s paying $50m to win the affections of former Goldman trading star Thomas Montag, who’s joining as global head of sales and trading for the bank’s debt and equities business.

Merrill’s munificence coincides with news of another raft of redundancies at UBS. The Swiss bank revealed today that it plans to make another 5,500 job cuts, of which 2,600 are expected to fall in its securities division.

A report released last week predicted 20,000 trading jobs will be eliminated globally by 2012.

With a base salary of $600k, a guaranteed stock and cash bonus of $39.4m, and additional cash to buy out the equity he’s accumulated in Goldman, Montag looks unlikely to part company with Merrill any time soon.

The huge package, which we assume is based on Thain’s hope that Montag will raise Merrill from the doldrums, pales in comparison to hedge fund pay, but is generous compared to other trader packages – such as the 10m-15m Deutsche reportedly offered a star commodities trader last year.

Lesser individuals will be nowhere near as fortunate. But one headhunter says it’s not as bad as all that – even for CDO traders and structurers. “Second and third-tier banks will still offer guarantees to hire the right people,” says Adam Buck, managing director of recruiters Selby Jennings. “They’re just less generous than they used to be.”

Comments (9)

  1. If you can beat the Philippine market, you can beat any markets in the world. fortunately for the star traders, they got big bucks to burn and deep pockets to average down on what they called as “accumulation”. Trading is an art less the emotion. Real traders trades the bull, the bear and the uncertain. they are nysnc with the market irregardless of the amount being trad, as little as $1 they can make a profit out of it.

  2. Spyfrat, the word is regardless not “irregardless”. Don’t embarrass us traders.

  3. Mahmoud, shurely this kind of linguistic “innovation” should be encouraged?

  4. Poor fellow could not even spell sync…

  5. I quite like Spyfrat’s take on ‘irrespective’. At least he didn’t misspell his name…

  6. KPMG CF Ukraine rulez!

  7. Mahmoud, BigVarn, Bilal Qureshi, Jane great language skills! On the other hand probably suck at trading…

  8. the word “irregardless” was famously used by Capt. Sobel in the HBO series “Band of Brothers”, Part 1, Curahee. He says “irregardless” sometime before he initiates court martial on Lt. Winters. For the liguistically curious … the origin of this word probably dates back further. But the popularization – I date the popularization to Capt. Sobel’s use in Band of Brothers.

    Not yet a trader Reply
  9. :) thx for the correction guys. miguel thx, it’s ok, no harm done :)

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