Now that bonuses have been awarded at U.S. investment banks, it's becoming apparent that some junior bankers have been paid a lot more lavishly than others. Goldman Sachs' associates on total compensation of $500k were in the first category, Morgan Stanley's associates were seemingly in the latter, but the most vociferous complaints appear to be coming from vengeful analysts and associates at Citigroup.
"Citi has paid disappointing bonuses to analysts and associates this year," claims one possibly unrepresentative Citi junior in the U.S..
The complaints echo posts on forum websites and social media. Instagram account Litquidity has been gathering testimonials from Citi bonus recipients who various say that the numbers are "sad," that they feel "unappreciated."
Citi M&A revenues were up 78% last year, versus an increase of 84% at Goldman Sachs, 74% at Morgan Stanley (whose bonuses also appear to have been a disappointment), and just 47% at Bank of America (where bonuses were seemingly up 50%). Citi juniors were expecting to be paid accordingly. Matters have apparently been made worse by the fact that Citi hasn't increased junior salaries again in London, unlike some rival American banks, and that it didn't allow juniors to expense meals during the pandemic (and still doesn't). CNBC reported yesterday, too, that some people at Citi have not received bonuses at all this year because of an anonymous complaints system that results in bonuses being withheld, even if complaints are unfounded.
Citi declined to comment for this article, but it's worth noting that juniors who do leave for other banks may have a shock. On average, Goldman Sachs bankers appear to work 14.4 hours a week more than bankers at Citi. Citi also has a work from home policy that enables its people to stay away from the office for at least two days a week, whereas banks like Goldman and JPMorgan increasingly expect juniors in the office. Juniors get Saturdays off and an hour to themselves every day. Once a month, Citi also has a "disconnect weekend" in which junior bankers don't work at all from 5pm on Friday to 9am on Monday. And every year, Citi's analysts and associates are obliged to take two weeks of holiday when they're fully disconnected from work.
Effectively, therefore, Citi is a U.S. bank that allows juniors to select lower pay along with lower working hours. European banks like BNP Paribas do the same, but pay even less. Some associates at Citi were also paid extra bonuses in recent years to mark their promotion from analyst to associate.
Not all Citi juniors are convinced, though. One U.S. associate complained of being made to toil very hard only to be paid a comparative pittance. "I am very frustrated and demotivated," he said, "My general feeling is to leave very soon." He may possibly be compelled to work even harder as a result.
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