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Nomura said to change its mind about Lehman bonuses – Updated

Rumour has it that Nomura’s suddenly having second thoughts about paying enormous two-year bonuses to the people it’s poached from Lehman.

According to one totally anonymous headhunter, the Japanese bank has reached a realisation that this isn’t 2006 and has cut its two-year guaranteed packages to one year. “A few people are still getting two-year deals, but most of them have now been rescinded and taken down to one year,” he says.

He adds that a high proportion of Nomura’s guarantees are for less than 100% of 2007’s bonus: “They range from anything from 50% to 130%, with a significant proportion below 100%.”

Other headhunters are less certain that the latest move represents much of a change. “Nomura is still paying two-year guarantees to senior staff and there has been no indication that this will alter,” says one.

Comments (13)

  1. why don’t you wait till the story is substantiated rather than rumouring, after all, you dont have to wait that long

  2. Experience suggests that if we wait until Monday morning, it may have appeared on the Sunday Times etc. in the interim. We’ll firm up next week. In the meantime, the source is a reliable one, so this is likely to be true. Have a good weekend.

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
  3. Have the Nomura Bonus Committee heard something then…surely not…I still think that it is important that they secure the services of their employees to stop them jumping ship to all those other employers knocking at the gate !!

    2yearbonusformeplease Reply
  4. I think it is helpful to hear such information even if it is unsubstantiated. We can make up our own minds about the validity.

  5. really ? it’s the best safeguard to retain ex-Lehman staff. read some news that quite a no not yet signed up with Nomura as of Friday despite 2-yr guarnateed package.

  6. The japanese these days are more financially conservative. They can’t throw big guaranteed compensation packages to bankers when the revenue stream is not guaranteed.

  7. 2yr guarantees only to top MBAs and Mscs that got us into the subprime mess

    financially illiterate Reply
  8. i heard top guys got millions in 2 yr pay package. Has the industry not learnt anything yet? Also, some junior guys were getting significant pay-pakacges.. 2x last years comp. this is very credible info

  9. Other than the core, (ex) employees of Lehman, giving them two year 100% bonuses would be a terrible waste. The Japanese will be more conservative.

  10. Only MDs have 2-yr guarantee package. Also other grades can have same terms as in Lehman

  11. “According to one totally anonymous headhunter”?? WTF??? This is not the basis of serious journalism Sarah.

    There are very worried people on the ground at Lehman who need some degree of financial security, so please stop wildly speculating on events that you have no knowledge on as it affects real people.

  12. Carly – I’ve now spoken to four separate people on this, all of whom said roughly similar things. The original source is reliable and sticks by his claim that he’s working with people who’ve had two year deals rescinded. If you read the FT, Bloomberg and other sources, you will find that they also contain anonymous quotes. Sometimes this is the only way to get inside information. When this is the case, the editor has to make a call on the reliability of the source. I made that call, but also made it clear that other sources disagree. If you read some of our other articles on Lehman, you will see that we are sympathetic to the plight of people there and are doing our best to help them (as far as we can) to work through legal issues and find alternative employment.

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
  13. I can tell you that the large bulk of M&A bankers have signed a one-year guarantee package this morning. 100% of 2007 bonus, paid in cash. 50% in April 2009 and 50% in October 2009.

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