Today is the day. Deutsche Bank is telling its people how much they will be getting as a bonus for their work during 2018. The conversations are ongoing (at least in New York), but there are are many long faces, with the occasional burst of wild jubilation.
"I'm down 45%," said one equities trader at Deutsche in New York. "It seems really bad - a lot have people have been zeroed, and all regions seem to have been hit." Last year's alleged $750m equities loss might be to blame.
Another equities trader complained around 20% of people around him seemed to have been zeroed and that others received the same as last year, when they were paid less than the Street anyway. "This was a very poor bonus round," he said. "I was slightly up, but very far below my expectations - top producers are already discussing demanding retention packages and the bank is afraid of seeing its top people walk away."
Middle and back office DB staff appear to have been particularly pumelled, with some suggesting that zeroes were most widespread here. "There were more doughnuts across the bank than you will ever find at Krispy Kreme," says one corporate financier. "The people in the non-revenue generating functions are particularly p*ssed-off." One tech professional gave his bonus a score of one out of five.
This isn't to say that everyone at Deutsche is unhappy. There were certainly some people with more than last year. Two macro traders gave their bonus okayish scores of 60%. One risk manager did the same (disproving the notion that everyone there got zeroed). An ecstatic emerging markets credit trader said that he and his team had been paid up significantly and insisted that Deutsche is a great place to work. "DB is the most interesting place to be on the Street. There's no other shop that lets you be an entrepreneur in the way that we can be here. We do massive trades and no one else is even in our ballpark."
In the investment banking division, Nick Jansa, the co-head of corporate finance for Europe, is said to have made sure high performing managing directors and juniors were, "ok," and one junior bettered this by saying his group had been "very well treated." Overall, the suggestion is that New York and London did better than anywhere else, with smaller hubs squeezed to feed the bigger ones.
Deutsche Bank itself doesn't comment on its bonuses. We won't really know what happened to the 2018 bonus pool until the bank releases its remuneration report later this month. The general feeling, however, is that it's down - maybe by a lot more than the 10-15% predicted in January by Bloomberg. Let us know if you work for Deutsche and your bonus suggests otherwise.
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