Are bonuses higher, are they lower, or is it too soon to tell?
According to the US website Dealbreaker.com, Wall Street analysts are already au fait with their bonuses, which are generally better than imagined and eerily similar across all banks.
Dealbreaker's figures, sourced from an unspecified number of its readers, suggest first-year analysts at top-paying banks are in line for bonuses of around 55k this year. First-years at mid-paying banks are pocketing 50k and those at more frugal firms can expect 40k.
Who are the best payers? Suffice to say, there are a few of the usual suspects: Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers. According to the website's respondents, the likes of Bank of America, Citigroup and Deutsche fall into the mid-payer category; Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and UBS are rumoured to be among the less exuberant paymasters.
Logan Naidu, a consultant at recruitment firm Cornell Partnership, says early indications are that the figures hold roughly true in London. "Our initial understanding is that bonuses look pretty good across the board. They just can't afford to lose people right now."
However, another recruiter says the figures look spurious and that most analysts are still waiting to find out what their amounts will be.
Whatever the answer, there's new evidence (if any were needed) that analysts in investment banks are squeezed harder than their counterparts in other industries and deserve their pay. A study by the Managing Partners' Forum reported in yesterday's Times, found that MDs are better paid than anyone else in the City (what's new?) and that investment banks employ half the number of juniors (between three and five) per partner-level employee than accounting firms do.
Dealbreaker's bonus figures
Analyst, year 1: US$110k
Analyst, year 2: US$130k
Analyst, year 3: US$155k
Analyst, year 1: US$105k
Analyst, year 2: US$125k
Analyst, year 3: US$145k
Analyst, year 1: US$100k
Analyst, year 2: US$120k
Analyst, year 3: US$140k
Analyst, year 1: US$90k
Analyst, year 2: US$110k
Analyst, year 3: US$130k