Despite mounting job losses and widespread economic gloom, a third of Wall Street professionals expect a higher end-of-year bonus in 2008, according to a study by the web outfit eFinancialCareers.com.
Thirty-six percent of 1,400 professionals polled say they expected bigger bonus this year, while 30 percent said they expected a smaller bonus and 34 percent expected no bonus at all.
That 36 percent expect a bigger bonus is surprising given the backlash on Main Street over executive compensation on Wall Street and Congressional efforts to curb excessive C.E.O. pay.
And a recent report says senior executives at Wall Street firms will have their bonuses cut by as much as 70 percent. Falling revenue and Congressional pressure will account for the bonus cuts, says the study by Johnson Associates, according to Bloomberg News.
The executives whose pay is disclosed in public filings will have the steepest reductions, and bonuses for other workers will drop by 10 percent to 45 percent this year. Rewards are likely to decline even more in 2009 as business slows further, said Alan Johnson, managing director of the compensation consulting firm that bears his name.
"One-third of the world is not going to get more than they got last year," Richard Lipstein, managing director at Boyden Global Executive Search in New York, told eFinancialCareers.com.
Despite diminishing profits, "bonuses will still be paid to those individuals who generated revenue for their institutions," said John Benson, C.E.O. of eFinancialCareers.com.