Headhunters Armstrong International and Options Group have both now unveiled their forecasts for 2007 bonuses. They're not entirely in agreement.
The top line
...is that bonuses will be down, down, down. According to Armstrong's report (which we haven't actually seen, but which is plastered all over the press this morning), the average banker will see his/her payout decline 20%. It predicts a higher proportion will be in shares, with UBS now said to be paying anything above $750k in stock.
Options Group is more upbeat, but remains downbeat - it says 2007 bonuses will fall 5-10%.
Almost certainly bigger bonuses for...
· Commodities pros - an increase of up to 20% (according to Armstrong via the Financial Times), and 15-20% according to Options Group.
· Wealth managers - either flat or an increase of up to 10% (according to Armstrong via the Telegraph). No predictions from Options, but we side with Armstrong here.
Almost definitely smaller bonuses for...
· Securitisation pros - down 10-30%, says Armstrong. MBS types will see a decline of 30-35%, says Options Group.
· Leveraged financiers - down 30-35%, says Armstrong. No predictions from Options Group, but what with all those write-downs, even a 30-35% cut looks generous.
· Fixed income in general - down 30%, says Armstrong. Down 15-20%, says Options Group.
No agreement on...
· Equities in general - the average bonus across the piece in equities will be up 10-15% according to Options Group. Armstrong's predicting they'll be flat to down 10%.
· Investment bankers - up 10-15% according to Options Group. Down 10-15% according to Armstrong.