New York Times
Alan Johnson, founder of Johnson Associates, said many in the industry had been anticipating a rebound. This year, though, those hopes have been fading.
“We kept expecting next year will be the year,” he said. “And it hasn’t really happened — and I don’t see it for the next three to five years.” He added, “It’s hard to see the swell of demand that will bail us out here.”
Big banks and brokerages slashed their bonus pools last quarter after pitiful trading activity led to double-digit revenue declines. Unless things turn around — and soon — Wall Streeters will see shrunken bonuses and possible layoffs, experts said.
“The sun could shine brightly the rest of the year, but most people would be quite surprised if that happened,” says Alan Johnson, a compensation consultant for Wall Street brokerages. Johnson warned that bonuses could be down as much as 10% this year — followed by job cuts next year — if trends continue.
Banks “are starting to restructure their pay strategy because five or six years after the crisis they have extra costs,” Johnson said. “It’s just not working.”
“You’re in business to benefit shareholders, so you should ride up and down based on how the stock does,” said Alan Johnson, an executive compensation consultant at Johnson Associates in New York. “We want our executives in America under pressure. That’s a good thing.”
Wall Street bonuses won’t be paid until the beginning of 2016, but the people who track them are already predicting a windfall for the investment bankers who advise companies on corporate combinations. In fact, they’re predicting it’ll be the biggest payout in years. Alan Johnson, one of Wall Street’s top compensation consultants, estimates that overall compensation for mergers and acquisitions bankers could be up by as much as 50% this year.
“Since the financial crisis, their CEO pay has come down, and their median employee pay is generally high,” Alan Johnson, managing director of compensation-consulting firm Johnson Associates, said about financial-services companies. “They don’t have a lot of seasonal workers — they have a lot of full-time versus part-time workers. Their ratios will not be as high as people expect.”
When companies begin to disclose CEO-to-worker pay comparisons in 2017, it could demonstrate that women CEOs have more reasonable ratios. But it may more likely be the case that firms with higher proportions of women employees will have more eye-popping numbers.
“I think that’s likely to be true. The way the ratio is calculated, it’s intended to skew and make companies that employ a lot of part-time workers look worse,” Johnson said. “So I would think in some industries — fashion retailing, fast food, some of the big department stores — they employ not only a lot of women, but a lot of part-time women.”
Global Finance Magazine
…“I think the impact will be relatively small, as I don’t see investors spending a lot of time looking at it,” says Alan Johnson, managing director of Johnson Associates, a compensation consulting firm. “But it will be one more headache for companies, and it will require some additional expenses to comply with.”…
New York Times
…But some say the rules seemed designed more to shame companies and their executives than to provide shareholders with any meaningful insights. “If you are a serious shareholder, you know what the stock has done, and you can come to your own conclusion about whether the C.E.O. is the right leader,” said Alan Johnson, managing director of Johnson Associates, a compensation consulting firm in New York. “The real purpose of these rules was to embarrass corporate America.”…
…While Mr. Fleming was one of the highest paid of his peers, his raise was consistent with brokerage executive pay increases across the board, according to Jeff Visithpanich, a managing director at Johnson Associates, which specializes in executive compensation.
“If you look at just asset management, I would take that to say they thought he did a good to very good job,” Mr. Visithpanich said of Mr. Fleming’s salary. “There are some [raises] higher than 10%, but the middle of the pack is high single digits to 10%….