Who didn't get paid (Part II)?

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We asked headhunters for further illumination on who's cheesed off and who's not.

Before we point any fingers, it's worth bearing in mind that pockets of peevishness are unsurprising. Out of 345 respondents to the survey on bonuses we ran at the end of January, more than 50% said their bonus was either disappointing or minuscule. But in some places the pockets may be deeper than others.

So who's particularly disgruntled? Headhunters say Citigroup's corporate financiers aren't being paid overly well. "Citigroup definitely feels like the median has come slightly below other banks," says one corporate finance-focused headhunter. "There were a few star performers, but the average seems lower than their competitors."

A rival headhunter agrees: "Citigroup paid some people [in corporate finance] very, very well, but the average was a bit disappointing. They had limited funds, and had to make difficult choices."

Separately, JPMorgan, which reportedly paid very generously in corporate finance, is rumoured to have been less liberal in cash equities. One headhunter attributes this to the bank's decision to add another layer of hierarchy in the form of executive directors: "It's another incentive - they can say we haven't paid you, but we've made you ED," he says.

Citigroup declined to comment. A spokesman for JPMorgan says the bank paid well in cash equities. He points out that JPMorgan's equity markets business doubled its revenues year on year in the 12 months to January 2007 and says compensation reflected this.

Disgruntlement also seems likely at Bridgewell, where Financial News reports the lowest 20% of performers are set to receive no bonus at all.

Most headhunters are eager to proclaim the good news however - namely, that people have been paid well this year. "Everything we're hearing is up," says Simon Vaughan-Edwards, a director at search firm Akamai Financial Markets. "But it's highly directed - there are some people that are being paid 50% up on last year, and others that are flat."

More bonus news is imminent. Deutsche Bankers are set to learn their fate in the next few days. ABN AMRO, Calyon and RBS will keep people guessing a few more weeks.

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