May 5, 2022 - Economy

Wall Street bonuses will likely drop this year

Illustration of a hand pushing down a hundred dollar bill.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Bonuses on Wall Street will be lower this year, according to a closely watched early projection released this morning.

Why it matters: Bonuses were sky-high in 2021, along with everything else. This year everyone is returning to earth. The so-called "war for talent" will slow and firms will be looking to control expenses, according to the report, from Johnson Associates, a compensation consulting firm in New York City.

  • Plus, the markets are down.
  • "2021 was so good. 2022 is looking dramatically less attractive," said the firm's managing director, Alan Johnson, who's been doing these reports for years.

By the numbers: The numbers vary by sector. Asset management follows the markets, and Johnson projects 10%-15% decline in bonuses.

  • Deal makers could see even bigger drops. "Off dramatically," he said.

Our thought bubble: Last year bonuses were massive, once-in-a-decade payouts. Probably these folks are gonna be OK.

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