Nov 14, 2023 - Economy

Another disappointing year for Wall Street bonuses

Data: Johnson Associates; Chart: Axios Visuals

Bonuses for 2023 are expected to be down or flat across much of the finance industry compared with last year, according to projections released Tuesday morning.

Why it matters: It's the second year of declining bonuses on Wall Street, though this year's projections look far less catastrophic than 2022's.

  • Though the much-anticipated recession hasn't yet materialized, the projections reflect a fairly meh year on Wall Street. Finance professionals struggled to adjust to the higher rate environment and, if you'll recall, dealt with a mini-banking crisis.

Zoom in: Overall, investment banker bonuses are projected to fall by as much by as much as 25%, according to Johnson Associates, a compensation consulting firm.

  • Retail and commercial regional bank bonuses could see a 10%-20% decline.
  • Other sectors were more mixed. Hedge fund bonuses could see anywhere from a 5% decline to a 5% increase; while private equity bonuses are projected to be flat.
  • Wealth management was a bright spot.
  • Last year, Wall Street bonuses saw their biggest drop since the Great Recession, according to state government data.

The bottom line: "Most Wall Street professionals will have to wait another year for a rebound in year-end bonuses," said Alan Johnson, the firm's managing director, in a statement.

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