As we reported a few weeks ago, Deutsche Bank is said to be averse to people leaving: if the German bank likes you and you get an offer from a rival bank, it might bid you back for significantly more than you're earning currently.
How much more? One DB insider says he got an uplift of 35% on his base salary, plus a guaranteed bonus for this year when he dangled an alternative offer.
Deutsche doesn't comment on pay, but if true the claims could create a headache for the German bank at the next bonus round. Deutsche has promised its staff that last year's withholding of performance related bonuses was a one-off, creating an expectation that pay will return to normal for 2017. However, if enough existing Deutsche people resign and are bought back again - or enough new people are hired on guaranteed bonuses - then the 2017 pay pot will be depleted from the outset. Deutsche bankers who aren't on big guarantees could find themselves at a disadvantage.
Not everyone who leaves Deutsche is getting a big pay uplift though. One NY headhunter, speaking on condition of anonymity, says the bank isn't being "too aggressive."
"There's no doubling of salaries or multi-year guarantees - just enough of an uplift to keep people sitting at the desk."
One bank targeting Deutsche staff is Credit Suisse. After a miserable performance last year, CS is trying to reinvigorate its equities business with new blood. It's already hired Stuart McGuire from Deutsche as head of EMEA cash equities sales and trading along with two senior Deutsche equities executives in Asia. Deutsche, in turn, hired a new head of U.S. global markets client strategy from Citadel's equities unit in April.
Deutsche set out to hire 100 equities trading staff last year, but the NY headhunter said some of the bank's most desirable Wall Street employees are in its Delta one business.
London headhunters said Deutsche isn't alone in trying to retain its existing staff. "Deutsche have made themselves a bit of a target, but we're seeing aggressive bid-backs everywhere this year," says one macro search specialist. "There's been so much cost cutting that there aren't many people realistically left to choose from, especially at the senior end. Because it's more painful to hire, it's also more painful to lose people - banks would rather keep hold of them."