City workers feel less confident about their bonuses

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A new survey* from eFinancialCareers.co.uk reveals that 4 in 10 city workers (41%) are feeling less or significantly less confident about their bonus compared to this time last year, and over half (52%) expect bonuses to decrease in the next three years, representing a slight increase of 3 percentage points on last year’s results.

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“Pay for performance is still ingrained in the culture of Financial Services in The City. However continued pressure from market conditions, overall business performance and public opinion are serving to moderate expectations in the sector."

Despite the loss of confidence and pessimistic outlook, eFinancialCareers bonus expectations survey reveals that over 8 in ten (82%) of surveyed finance professionals still expect to receive a bonus this year. Of those who expect to receive a bonus this year, nearly half (46%) expect their bonus this year to be higher than the bonus they earned in 2011. Professionals working for institutional asset management firms hold the highest expectations, with 53 percent of them anticipating an increase of their bonuses on last year.

Nearly three out of 10 (29%) expect a decrease, with the lows registering at banks, where 31% of respondents believe their bonus will decrease compared to last year.

The proportion of respondents not expecting to receive a bonus this year has increased to 18%, from 11% last year. Company performance (38%) and market conditions (27%) were cited as the two main reasons.

Among those expecting an increase, 39 percent of respondents cited personal performance as the primary reason, representing an increase of 7 percentage points on last year. Company performance gains second place this year (19%), followed by a change of employment (13%). For those expecting decreased bonuses, market conditions (44%) and company performance (33%) stand out as the most-cited primary causes.

Asked about their main concern about the potential downward influence on total compensation, half (50%) of respondents cited market conditions, and over a quarter (26%) the pressure from the public and politicians.

James Bennett, Global Managing Director of eFinancialCareers, comments:
“Pay for performance is still ingrained in the culture of Financial Services in The City. If people have performed well they still expect bigger bonuses. However continued pressure from market conditions, overall business performance and public opinion are serving to moderate expectations in the sector.”

In comparison, the mood on Wall Street is more optimistic. Results from the 2012 eFinancialCareers bonus expectations survey in the US show that nearly half (48%) of the Wall Street employees surveyed expect their bonus this year to be higher than the bonus they earned in 2011. That is up from last year this time when 41 percent of survey respondents believed their annual bonus would increase.

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About the Survey

The 2012 eFinancialCareers Bonus Expectations Survey took place in the UK between September 18 and October 8, 2011 with 828 currently employed financial markets professionals, with 56 percent of those working in the front office, 23 percent in the middle office and 22 percent in the back office. Please note totals may not equal to 100 due to rounding.

For media enquiries or to arrange an interview with James Bennett, Global Managing Director of eFinancialCareers, please contact:

Anne Bourgeois
abourgeois(at)efinancialcareers(dot)com
T: +44 (0) 20 79977910
M: +44 (0) 7432 736 221

About eFinancialCareers
eFinancialCareers, a Dice Holdings, Inc. service, is the leading global career site network for professionals working in the investment banking, asset management and securities industries. The website provides financial services professionals with job opportunities, job market news and analysis, salary surveys and career advice. Recruiters and employers can post jobs targeting specific sectors within the financial services industry, both buy-side and sell-side, and can search the resume database for highly qualified and specialized professionals. eFinancialCareers has a network of co-branded career sites with industry-leading trade publications and offers local websites in 19 markets and five languages primarily across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. http://www.eFinancialCareers.co.uk

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Anne Bourgeois
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