If you're looking for a U.S. investment bank that pays handsomely, in heavy quantities of cash, Citigroup may be the place to be. Headhunters report that the U.S. bank is one of the most generous cash payers at bonus time. At Citi there is no cap on cash bonuses. There is none of the horribly delayed cliff vesting you get at Deutsche Bank. And Citi seems to pay its salespeople and traders reasonably well too.
As with previous installments of our information on bonus structures, the data behind the charts below hasn't been verified by Citi - banks don't comment on how they pay their staff. It's derived from reports of an internal memo covering Citigroup bonuses for 2013, and from conversations with headhunters. The data doesn't apply to London-based 'code staff', of whom Citi had 190 in total (although only 93 were in global markets) in 2012 - the last year for which information is available. Banks are obliged by EU-wide regulations to defer at least 40% of bonuses for code staff earning in excess of £500k ($840k) in total.
If you receive a $250k bonus at Citi, it seems that 85% of it will be paid in ready cash. The bank reportedly pays all cash bonuses up to $100k, beyond which it defers 75% of each $100k up to $500k. Deferrals at Citi are spread equally over four years.
If you receive a $500k bonus at Citi, 80% will be in cash. The deferral period mentioned above still applies.
Finally, an impressive 70% of Citi's $1m bonuses are seemingly paid in cash. This compares to 39% (during the first year) at Morgan Stanley, around 65% at JPMorgan and around 65% at Goldman Sachs. "Citigroup has the most generous cash bonuses on the street," says one headhunter.
Beyond $500k, it seems that a marginal 60% of Citi's bonuses are deferred. The bank is particularly lenient when it comes to deferrals for large seven figure bonuses - Citi's 60% deferral applies to bonuses worth up to $4m.