Morning Coffee: Is this why Morgan Stanley's suddenly being so generous to its associates? Viral outbreak on the Goldman trading floor

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Associate pay rise Morgan Stanley

Four years is a long time to wait for a salary rise. If you're an associate at Morgan Stanley, this is how long it's been. There might've been some trivialities here and a few extra dollars there, but it was seemingly 2014 when a large crust last got thrown your way. This is about to change. Bloomberg says you're about to get lifted by 20-25%.

Before Morgan Stanley's associates find themselves swept away onto a new and higher plane where they can, for a moment, buy all sorts of stuff that their counterparts at other banks cannot, and are then at the forefront of some sort of crazy new junior bidding war where all associate-level bankers eventually get raised to the higher price, it's worth looking at how much Morgan Stanley's associates currently earn vis a vis their counterparts.

The answer seems to be: not so much. We don't have figures for the U.S., but UK recruiters' most recent salary and bonus surveys suggest Morgan Stanley hasn't been paying its associates that well. In terms of total compensation. Both Dartmouth Partners (a recruiter) and Arkesden (another recruiter) suggest that Morgan Stanley's associates are paid less than associates at super-lavish places like Bank of America and Goldman Sachs (you can see the charts here.) They say Morgan Stanley pays a bit like a European bank, except sometimes worse.

This isn't to say that a salary rise wouldn't be welcome. After all salaries are the proverbial bird in the hand rather than bush, and who wouldn't say no to a guaranteed income? However, Morgan Stanley's associate salaries (as opposed to its total compensation of salary plus bonus) are already quite high according to Dartmouth, which puts them at £111k (£152k) for associates two, instead of £106k at Goldman Sachs and £105k at J.P. Morgan. A hike to £139k would make Morgan Stanley's associate salaries 30% higher than Goldman's. That's pretty impressive.

What really matters though is total compensation. A salary rise is nice, but not if it's matched by a commensurate drop in your bonus. It's not clear that this is Morgan Stanley's game, however it's worth noting that Morgan Stanley already pays mighty salaries to its VPs, but that it all evens out in the bonus - after which VPs at the bank are apparently paid on a par with most of their rivals and still less than at Goldman and BAML.

Separately, there's been an outbreak at Goldman Sachs. It's mumps. The parents of Goldman traders seem to be anti-vac types, because Business Insider says mumps have struck the U.S. trading floor. The firm's own health centre is quickly administering the vaccination to all those not already covered.

Meanwhile:

Deutsche Bank still plans to make Frankfurt its global booking hub by year’s end, but not all clients booked in London will be moved across to Germany before the start of the new year. (Bloomberg) 

Shareholders are rewarding European banks for pulling back from Wall Street. (Bloomberg) 

Goldman Sachs employees are joining Crypto hedge fund Blocktower Capital (Business Insider) 

25% of Goldman Sachs' workforce are engineers. (CNBC) 

Vikram Pandit: “Now I can choose how I spend my time, but I still tend to spend it all.” (Financial News)

Ken Moelis got his work ethic from Ayn Rand and Drexel Burnham Lambert. "There was no such thing as a Saturday or Sunday at Drexel.” (Bloomberg)

How your text messages change when you get married. (A dash of data) 

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com

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Photo credit: Gordan1. Getty 

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