U.S. banker bonuses set to slide while traders benefit, study says

Bonuses for Wall Street bankers are projected to plunge as much as 45% this year as business dries up.

Payouts for investment bankers who underwrite deals will probably drop 40% to 45% this year, while incentive compensation for those advising on transactions is estimated to fall 20% to 25%, according to compensation consultancy firm Johnson Associates.

“Headcount will decrease as firms scale back after increasing headcount in 2021 and into 2022,” Alan Johnson, a managing director at the consultancy, wrote in a report.

U.S. banking giants reported sharp declines in their dealmaking businesses in the second quarter. But the rout in equity markets and surging volatility across financial markets sparked a flurry of client activity that boosted trading revenue.

Fixed income traders and salespeople will probably get pay bumps of 15% to 20%, while bonuses for stock traders could rise 5% to 10%, according to the report.