Finance

Credit Suisse pays juniors $20,000 ‘lifestyle’ bonus amid spike in deals

Credit Suisse is paying a one-off bonus of around $20,000 for its junior investment bankers as a thank you for handling huge deal flow throughout the pandemic.

The Swiss bank is also bumping up salaries for employees at director level and below in recognition of their work during “unprecedented deal volume”, the bank said in a statement.

The bonus is called a “cash lifestyle allowance”, according to a source close to the situation, and will apply to all those working at vice president level and below. It is understood to be around $20,000.

READ Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser introduces ‘Zoom-free Fridays’ as pandemic takes toll on staff

The move will cover Credit Suisse’s juniors within its banking and capital markets division, which has seen a huge surge in activity over the course of 2021 as investment banks have worked on record deal flow, particularly in equity capital markets.

“Credit Suisse’s Capital Markets & Advisory management recognizes and wants to reward the efforts of our people who have not only managed to support our clients through unprecedented deal volume, but also increased our share of the market.”

In a trading update on 16 March, the Swiss bank said that overall investment bank revenues over the last year have been up by more than 50%.

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The move follows a laser focus in junior investment banker hours, after a group of 13 Goldman Sachs analysts unveiled a stinging presentation outlining 100-hour weeks, declining mental health and threats to quit.

Credit Suisse’s pay rise is the latest perk to be offered to junior bankers. Independent US investment bank Jefferies offered its some 1,100 analysts and associates a one-year subscription for a Peloton bike, a home workout system or an Apple Watch as a sign of its “deep appreciation” of their work over the past year.

Goldman chief executive David Solomon said in a message to employees on 21 March that the bank would look to hire more analysts, divert resources away from less busy parts of the business and rigidly enforce a rule that entitles juniors to Saturdays off work. 

READ Citi’s new plan to ease junior banker stress would limit pitchbooks to 15 pages

Meanwhile, Citigroup has limited so-called pitchbooks to 15 pages in an effort to alleviate the workload of its junior bankers. The move is part of a series of measures at the bank, with chief executive Jane Fraser telling employees in a 22 March memo that it would stop internal Zoom calls on a Friday and try to limit meetings to normal working hours to stem the “relentlessness of the pandemic workday”.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Paul Clarke

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