Writing on the Wall

Hi everybody,

I work at a reputable MM bank (think Blair, Lincoln, etc.) and thinking about jumping ship for a number of reasons; the top being outlook for the firm and foreseeing some pretty junky bonuses the next couple years.

At the firm-level, we've seen material revoking of non-cash comp (e.g., meals) and other odd antics regarding bonuses and expenses – ticky tacky stuff that almost feels like a joke. It's clear we over hired in 2021, but we haven't seen a material reduction in headcount. I understand that rolling heads isn't always the best move, and I should be happy to have a job in this environment, but it feels like we have a lot of warm bodies that aren't getting staffed while others are getting killed. Won’t get too much into specifics, but we’ve had a number of solid bankers poached the last year – feels like we’ve whiffed on key senior hires as well. Staffings are like russian roulette these days due to green individuals or crappy businesses that won’t transact.

After a lower than market bonus last year, bad outlook for 2023, and garbage 2024 pipeline, the juice doesn't seem worth the squeeze. Why grind it out, work 100+ hour weeks just to make 10-20% more than the person who was staffed on one deal and contributed very little? Are others at MM banks seeing similar things or feeling in the same boat?

EDIT: Is it worth sticking it out to see if things get better or should I run for the door if comp isn’t great at EOY? Have a good reputation and could see A2A on the horizon, but think a fresh start at a smaller, growing firm (LMM PE or Boutique) would be a better fit. Would hate to leave chips on the table by bailing too early with this rollercoaster of a M&A environment.

 

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