- A year of nonstop work from home has Wall Street’s junior workers burned out.
- Wall Street banks and investment firms are responding by giving staff cash and perks.
- UBS told junior bankers on Wednesday it was adding a new bonus for associate promotes.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Across Wall Street, financial firms are competing with one another to keep junior talent by providing perks and incentives for staff. Some are also going on big hiring pushes.
The frenzy among investment banks and private-equity firms comes after a grueling year of working from home on rapid-fire deals. And that’s all come to a head as the industry’s youngest talent has made its feelings known.
Whether it’s leaked pitch decks from junior employees laying out their dissatisfaction with their working conditions, or associate departures at some firms like Apollo Global Management, pressures have been mounting.
We’re keeping tabs on how firms across the worlds of private-equity and banking are responding by rolling out special perks, bonuses, and raises across junior ranks. Here’s our running list of which Wall Street firms are paying up.
UBS is moving forward planned salary increases and bonuses for analysts, and offering a new promotion bonus for bankers who get promoted to associate from analyst, according to an internal memo reviewed by Insider and first reported by Financial News.
According to the memo sent on April 21 by global banking co-heads Ros Lesperance and Javier Oficialdegui, this new bonus will be paid by June for people promoted in March 2021. And going forward, all newly promoted associates will get this new bonus at year end.
The firm is also moving up its timeline for year-end reviews for analysts to July and salary increases to August, bringing UBS in line with competitors. Since 2021 will be a transition year given the new “year end” is being introduced this summer, analysts will get a stub bonus payment in August reflecting the January-June period.
The memo said that UBS was “actively recruiting” to alleviate junior bankers’ workloads and encouraged staff to connect people in their networks with the bank to earn referral awards. Insider previously reported the bank has posted jobs for SPAC-focused junior bankers.
Wells Fargo Securities is offering corporate and investment-banking analysts and associates up to $20,000 in special bonuses.
The bank announced the bonuses during an internal call on April 19, a source familiar with the situation who asked to remain anonymous to speak freely told Insider. Wells Fargo will give $20,000 to corporate and investment-banking associates, while analysts will get $10,000. The bonuses will be paid out in installments over the next six months.
“The past year has placed great pressure on our talent in certain client facing/revenue-generating roles in the Corporate & Investment Banking division due to unprecedented deal flow and client activity. As such, we’ve decided to pay our analysts and associates a financial allowance,” a Wells Fargo spokesperson told Insider.
The boutique investment bank, which is known for its industry-leading restructuring business and its banking services largely oriented toward the middle-market, has announced internally that it is offering first-year analysts in the US who sit in the firm’s corporate finance division a $5,000 base compensation increase, a $10,000 spot bonus, and an all-expenses paid vacation to a destination based on a list of options the firm has compiled.
A person familiar with the company’s plans said that other analysts at other levels or business lines could receive similar perks, but it could not be determined how large their bonuses or salary bumps would be, nor could Insider verify the locations where analysts would be able to travel to.
The person familiar also said that everyone in the corporate finance division, from analyst up through managing director, would be eligible to receive the all-expenses paid trip.
William Blair executives told its investment-banking analysts, associates, and vice presidents who joined the firm before January 31 they would receive “a special, one-time spot bonus” in the amount of $20,000.
More recent hires will receive smaller bonuses. Analysts, associates, and vice presidents who had joined the firm as of February will receive $13,000 bonuses. And those who signed on in March will receive $6,500 bonuses.
The special bonuses hit accounts in the April 15 payroll cycle.
Bank of America
Bank of America will raise salaries for associates and vice presidents in its US investment-banking division by $25,000, and analysts by $10,000, two sources familiar with the new measures told Insider.
Non-US based bankers will see a similar bump, one source added. That source said that the thinking behind the salary bumps is that it fits in broadly with the bank’s focus for the past decade on alleviating some of the work-related difficulties that inherently come with junior talents’ jobs, like taking measures to reduce pitch documents, for instance.
Warburg Pincus is bumping pay by up to 30% for analysts and associates at the private-equity firm, Insider reported. The move will increase total compensation for investing-focused junior workers, meaning base plus bonus.
Employees learned of the increases on an internal call last week, according to a source directly familiar with the situation. Warburg explained the raises as a move to bring comp in line with market rates, the source said.
First-year associates at Warburg receive total compensation north of $330,000, according to user-submitted data from Wall Street Oasis.
Credit Suisse told some junior to midlevel workers in its global capital-markets and advisory group to expect to receive salary raises and bonuses in the coming months. The Swiss bank plans to disperse $20,000 bonuses to analysts, associates, and vice presidents, with bonuses hitting accounts as soon as the second quarter of 2021.
The firm will also increase salaries for people in the global capital-markets and advisory group at the director level and below, which includes vice presidents, associates, and analysts. Salary raises will take effect for directors, vice presidents, and associates as early as April.
The firm will also implement a relaxed dress code when employees begin heading back to the office, but traditional dress-code requirements will continue to be in place for client meetings.
Moelis & Co
The boutique investment bank Moelis & Co. is offering junior investment bankers a $10,000 “allowance” to spend this year on services suggested to pertain to mental health, Bloomberg reported in late March.
Recipients of the payments, which will come in three parts — first, a $5,000 payment, followed by two $2,500 payments — will be executive directors, vice presidents, associates, and analysts, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
In its report, Bloomberg also noted that Moelis is “encouraging bankers to take one Saturday a month away from work for dealmakers, except during active deals or clients requests.”
The firm is grappling with the departure of a large portion of its associate class, an exodus that chips away at the manpower necessary to sustain its active deal flow. Seven of the 30 private-equity associates in Apollo’s New York City office, along with one principal, have left the firm over the past three months. Others also plan to submit their resignations, according to one current and several former employees who are familiar with the situation.
In response, Apollo is offering six-figure retention bonuses to some of its private-equity associates after several young executives quit the firm, Insider has learned. In an effort to stem the exits, Apollo has extended $100,000, $150,000, and $200,000 bonuses for first-year, second-year, and third-year associates, respectively, to be paid in April, according to two people familiar with the matter. The bonuses come with the stipulation that associates stay with Apollo at least until September 2022.
Jefferies Financial Group CEO Rich Handler and President Brian Friedman, the top executives at the investment bank, sent a memo to their 1,124 analysts and associates worldwide on March 18 offering them their choice of gifts to thank them for a year of grinding and producing strong results for the firm.
On offer are a Peloton at-home workout bike with a one-year subscription, a Mirror Home Workout system with a one-year subscription, and a suite of Apple products including the Apple Watch, iPad, AirPods Pro, and AppleCare Plus coverage.
JPMorgan isn’t doling out special bonuses and raises to busy junior bankers. But it is eyeing a big hiring push.
“It’s not a money problem,” co-head of investment banking Jim Casey told Bloomberg on April 21. Instead, the JPMorgan is taking steps to bulk up its workforce and give existing employees time away from the computer. The bank has recently hired 65 analysts and 22 associates, Casey told Bloomberg, and there are plans to add another 100 junior bankers and support staff in the coming months. Casey said JPMorgan is targeting talent at rival banks as well as potential career switchers in law and accounting.
JPMorgan is also telling bakers to hold off on marketing work on weekends, log off by 7 p.m. on weekdays, create more flexibility for personal time, and take at least three weeks of vacation annually.
Jane Fraser, Citigroup’s new CEO, announced the firm would no longer hold video meetings on Fridays, labeling the move ” Zoom Free Fridays” in an internal memo to staff. Fraser also said May 28 would be a companywide holiday and named it “Citi Reset Day.” The Financial News first reported on the memo.
CEO David Solomon promised to protect junior bankers’ Saturdays off after a survey detailing “inhumane” conditions went viral. The February survey was developed and conducted by 13 first-year analysts at Goldman Sachs about hours logged and working conditions.
The findings included estimates for this year on the number of hours worked in a week (98), hours slept each night (five), and time they get to sleep (3 a.m.). All respondents said their work hours negatively affected relationships with friends and family, and 77% said they felt like they’d been a victim of workplace abuse.
Insider previously reported on a leaked pitch deck showing analysts were pleading for changes since work from home started.