Some large investment banks have increased pay per head this year (Deutsche, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse), but the extent of the increase has been mostly modest. At Goldman, it's up 15% for example. However, modesty is not much in evidence at Brazilian bank BTG Pactual. BTG has just released its 3Q results and they reveal an increase in pay per head of 74% - led by a near tripling of the bonus pool.
BTG doesn't employ many people: its global headcount stands at just 1,539 people. However, the people it does employ are treated very well. Over the first nine months of 2012 average pay per head was $375k - putting BTG at the top of our compensation ranking. Appealingly, BTG also seems to follow a traditional compensation model: 80% of its compensation expenses are allocated to bonuses.
Is this colossal increase in compensation pay justifiable? Yes, in the sense that BTG's profits increased 176% in the first nine months of the year. Less so, in the sense that BTG's Value at Risk rose 35% year-on-year in the first nine months. BTG is paying big bonuses, but are they encouraging its staff to take more risk?
Separately, here's the all-important chart from yesterday's ONS release on the highest paying professions on an hourly basis in the UK. Bankers, lawyers and accountants are surprisingly absent.
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