Analyst bonuses to be nearly halved

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Analyst bonus time is coming around again and it doesn't look entirely pretty. Early figures from the one top US bank that's remained unscathed by the credit crunch suggest first-year analysts will fare the worst. Meanwhile, for the first time ever it seems analysts are set to receive some of their bonuses in stock.

First of all, here are last year's figures - courtesy of recruitment firm The Cornell Partnership:

Y1 analyst: base salary (excluding sign-on) 38.5k, average bonus 125%.

Y2 analyst: base salary (excluding sign-on) 45k, average bonus 140%.

Y3 analyst: base salary (excluding sign-on) 50k, average bonus 155%.

And here are the 2008 forecast figures for the 'top firm', courtesy of another recruiter which wishes to go unnamed:

Y1 analyst : base salary (excluding sign-on) 37k, average bonus 70%.

Y2 analyst: base salary (excluding sign-on) 44k, average bonus 100%.

Y3 analyst: base salary (excluding sign-on) 51k, average bonus 150%.

Given the 2008 figures are for the one house that's sidestepped the credit crunch (who could that be?), they could paint an overly rosy view of reality. With this caveat, it's notable that first-year analysts look set to lose out, while third years appear on track for another good year.

Logan Naidu at The Cornell Partnership says most analysts are expecting bonuses to be circa 25% down this year, which isn't great considering they're being worked harder than ever. "We're getting calls saying three people have left my team, my staffer has unrealistic expectations and my workload is unbearable," he says.