Citigroup Global Markets Limited - the UK iteration of Citi's sales and trading arm, just released its annual results for the year ending December 2015. Profits were up, pay for directors was up, but pay per head of the rank and file was down.
In the 12 months to December, the average Citi salesperson, trader, and member of markets infrastructure staff in the UK earned £245k ($349k), down from £271k a year earlier.
Fair enough, you might say - except Citi's London-based global markets business did a lot better last year than in 2014. Pre-tax operating profits went from $113m to $373m. Someone certainly benefited: compensation for the highest paid director at Citi rose from $2.4m in 2014 to $2.6m one year later.
Average pay per head in Citi's sales and trading business is also substantially lower than pay per head for the 'code' staff in the unit. Filings for 2014 indicate that code staff (including senior traders, managers, and senior compliance and risk personnel) were paid an average of $1.4m.
Citi has been hiring for its London trading business. In 2015, headcount rose by 135 people, or 3%, to 4,066. Despite cost cutting efforts in the bank as a whole, Citi's global markets business seems set to continue expanding in London in 2016, particularly in equities. In the notes accompanying the report, Citi says that "progressively investing for growth" in the equities business is one of its main strategic priorities this year.
Murray Roos, the ex-co-head of European equities at Deutsche was promoted to global co-head of equities at Citi in May. Roos hired several people from Deutsche Bank into Citi in 2015. In April, headhunters told us Roos found it easy to tap ex-colleagues because of widespread disgruntlement with the pay at Deutsche. With pay at Citi falling, the U.S. bank may be a harder sell in future.