The truth about analyst bonuses

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Most banks have now announced bonuses for junior staff. And despite rumours that zeros were widespread at some firms, the surprising news is that on the whole payouts in corporate finance don't appear to have been that bad at all.

"Most second and third-year analysts at bulge brackets have received 100% of salary," says Logan Naidu at recruiters The Cornell Partnership. "Last year's payouts were generally in excess of 150%, so this year's are down substantially, but they're still good in mere mortals' terms."

Abid Hussein, a private equity consultant at recruitment firm EM Financial Services, says payouts are fairly uniform across top firms, but that the differential between top and mediocre performers has increased.

"While top performers got 100% payouts, rumour has it that one or two bottom performers received as little as 4k-7k," he says.

Hussein adds that both Goldman and Morgan Stanley paid bonuses that were 15-25% more than other banks at analyst level.

Hussein adds that a couple of banks are now offering analysts stock options: "This would have been unheard of a few years ago."

Bonuses for top ranked analysts, investment banking, 2008

First-year analysts: 35k-37k base; 16k-35k bonus (up to 40.5k at Goldman and Morgan Stanley).

Second-year analysts: 45k base; 20k-45k bonus (up to 55k at Goldman and Morgan Stanley).

Third-year analysts: 50k base; 40k-60k bonus (up to 70k at Goldman and Morgan Stanley).

Source: EM Financial Services

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