Citigroup practices pay egalitarianism; Goldman rewards the mid-rankers

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Further revelations from the mine of information that is Cuomo's bonus report.

As detailed at the bottom of this page, the report offers a breakdown on the value of bonuses received by the top 14 staff at each firm, the size of last year's bonus pool, and the number of people receiving bonuses in excess of $1m.

The results offer an interesting perspective on how banks distributed their 2008 bonus pools.

Chart 1 shows the percentage of bonus pools awarded to the fourteen top performers. Merrill Lynch is the clear outlier: it paid its fourteen favourite staff nearly 7% of the 2008 bonus pool, compared to an industry average of 3.7%.

Chart 2 shows the minimum percentage of the bonus pool paid to staff earning more than $1m,

based on the breakdowns given for the distribution of bonuses greater than this amount. Again, it shows that Merrill Lynch favoured its higher earners.

However, Goldman allocated the highest proportion of 2008 bonuses to the $1m plus contingent - they received at least 60% of its bonus pool last year, compared to an industry average of 40%.

But when it handed out those 2008 seven figures bonuses, Goldman disproportionately favoured those earning less than $5m; they got 79% of its $1m+ bonuses, compared to 59% at Morgan Stanley. A similar pattern of distribution was in evidence at JPMorgan.

The most 'egalitarian' bank of all, however, was Citigroup. Not only did it pay a comparatively small proportion of its bonus pool to its 14 highest earners and to those on $1m+, but 95% of those who did its seven figure bonuses received $5m or less.

Chart 1: Percentage of 2008 bonus pools awarded to the 14 highest earners

% for highest earners

Chart 2: Minimum percentage of 2008 bonus pools awarded to those earning in excess of $1m

% for those earning more than $1m

Morgan Stanley

Total bonus pool 2008: $4.48bn

Top four recipients received ($m) 73.04

Next four recipients received ($m) 51.08

Next six recipients received ($m) 59.62

Number of people receiving >$10m: 10

Number of people receiving >$8m 15

Number of people receiving >$5m 50

Number of people receiving >$4m 59

Number of people receiving >$3m 101

Number of people receiving at least $1m 428

Merrill Lynch

Total bonus pool 2008: $3.6bn

Top four recipients received ($m) 121

Next four recipients received ($m) 62

Next six recipients received ($m) 66

Number of people receiving >$10m: 14

Number of people receiving >$8m 20

Number of people receiving >$5m 53

Number of people receiving >$3m 149

Number of people receiving at least $1m 696

Goldman Sachs

Total bonus pool 2008: $4.8bn

Top four recipients received ($m) 45.9

Next four recipients received ($m) 40.81

Next six recipients received ($m) 56.4

Number of people receiving >$10m: 60

Number of people receiving >$8m 168

Number of people receiving >$5m 390

Number of people receiving >$3m 921

Number of people receiving at least $1m 1,344

JP Morgan

Total bonus pool 2008: $8.7bn

Top four recipients received ($m) 74.8

Next four recipients received ($m) 49.18

Next six recipients received ($m) 60.96

Number of people receiving >$10m: 100

Number of people receiving >$8m 232

Number of people receiving >$5m 420

Number of people receiving >$3m 990

Number of people receiving at least $1m 1,626

Citigroup

Total bonus pool 2008: $5.3bn

Top four recipients received ($m) 43.66

Next four recipients received ($m) 37.47

Next six recipients received ($m) 49.81

Number of people receiving >$10m: 3

Number of people receiving >$8m 13

Number of people receiving >$5m 44

Number of people receiving >$3m 193

Number of people receiving at least $1m 914

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