Big Banks and Salaries Are In, Boutiques and Bonuses Are Out

by Derek Loosvelt | January 08, 2010

For a preview of what is sure to be all the rage on the streets of London this spring (as well as this summer and fall), take a peek at this Bloomberg piece, which showcases several recent moves made by investment banking executives from boutiques back to big global banks.

Barclays London headquarters

If you recall, many hitters who worked at firms like UBS and Barclays before the credit crisis began jumped ship (or were forced to walk the plank) when the shinola found its way into the blades of the fan in 2008, taking up new office space at various investment banking boutiques, because, the thinking was, boutiques were less likely to fold and more likely to be able to pay their dealmakers what dealmakers believed they were worth (as opposed to what governments and taxpayers believed). Now that big banks appear to be out of the line of fire, bankers are coming full circle, moving back into offices housed in large buildings leased or owned by global financial institutions. And along with getting their old offices back, bankers are also getting their old compensation back—with one minor change.

In the past, bankers had to wait to the end of the year for the big bucks to arrive (that is, for their bonus checks to clear), but now that bonuses are out of fashion, bankers no longer have to wait for January to cash in: Today they're sporting incredibly spiffy salaries, ones that are more than double what they made back in the days before bailouts and mass layoffs and something called the worldwide credit crisis.

Filed Under: Finance


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