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Grumbling All Around

Wall Street bonuses are making front page headlines again, as the banks have had blockbuster years resulting in bonus payouts heading to levels surpassing the record payouts of 2007. I must admit, after the demise of Lehman, Bear and an independent Merrill, one would not have expected this turnaround so soon after we were at the edge of a global financial meltdown. Not surprisingly, the Feds and the media are going to have a field day bashing the banks as JQ Public and many businesses are struggling to recover. However, on the banking side, the bankers are also grumbling, as cash will be replaced by stock grants with longer vesting periods. At Goldman, the stock component of the payout will double over the percentage of total compensation, and will carry a five-year vesting schedule. The bankers aren’t happy, arguing they will have to wait longer for the award. I must say, no sympathy here. It seems to me that the stock approach is fair and reasonable, all things considered and equal.

Tony LoPinto is a senior client partner and head of Korn//Ferry International’s Real Estate Practice and founder of SelectLeaders. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.
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