No Bonus - What to do?
My firm just indicated that I would not receive a bonus this year, and honestly, I am not quite sure what to do. I joined this small boutique early this year, and according to "their policy," I have not been there long enough to receive a bonus. During the interview process, It was mentioned that a bonus would be paid out in Mid-late summer. It sounded as if they were implying that I would be paid out around that time too. I will have been there for over a third of the year by the time bonuses are calculated (just shy of a year by the time they are paid out). I have never been at a firm that has not trued up bonuses for partial years. It is honestly a little demoralizing hearing this news.
Overall, I guess I am a little concerned because a shop that is willing to not pay out a little bit of bonus, has me worried that I will get screwed further down the road. I did join this shop recently, so I have some concerns about interviewing in other places. I feel like the best option is to grind out a few transactions and see if I can work my way into a good lateral position next year.
Curious to hear what people think. Am I overreacting? Am I thinking about this wrong?
From what you've said, seems to me like they are acting in bad faith. I would directly ask someone senior to explain the bonus policy, not in a confrontational way but just to understand what you're in for. If they can't give you a very clear answer then you should absolutely try to go somewhere else.
A senior explained it to me, saying that the reason was that I started after the first. So, I guess my thinking is that they knew that when I was hired after that date. It also sucks because their recruiter reached out to me and it seemed like a half-decent position at the time.
They did say in the interview process "Bonuses are paid out in mid-summer for the whole firm." Which is like why did you not tell me I was not going to be eligible.
Those kinds of excuses are bullshit and anyone who accepts them deserves what happens to them.
They're clearly a bunch of jokers, no normal senior banker has poor enough judgment to explain to another banker (at any level) that he's not getting paid because of some calendar cutoff nonsense.
Run, don't walk, to the lateral market.
You work too hard to deal with bs like that.
Get out of there
That is I guess the one redeeming factor so far is that the hours seem somewhat reasonable. But still, It hurts, like not financially, but just a good slap across the face.
Yea doesn't sound good and says a lot about the firm. I'd be exploring my options tbh
This is the way
Even if you do not technically qualify for a full bonus (which they should have made crystal clear in your offer letter), I find it crazy that can't even give you a pro-rated bonus.
That being said, this is risk working for these small banks. They can do what they want.
My advice would be to ask a senior in a polite way if it is common to not true up a junior and if there is not even an option for a pro rated bonus. Then confirm you will be eligible for a bonus next year and what they have typically averaged for someone at your level. Then smile and leave and start sending out your resume quietly as you can.
I have just never had a firm not true up, which is why I didn't even think to ask.
Do you think it is worth talking to a senior? My concern is that it was a senior that told me that I didn't qualify and my fear would be with the smaller group that, if I did bring something up I might be paint a target on my back.
Is there a vp you can talk to? I agree you don't want to make enemies of a senior you already is a cheapskate and doesn't have your back.
We paid 10k for a one month of lateral analyst last year and all he did was get licensed.
That's what I am saying. I have never been to a firm that has not paid out something, no matter how small it is. I would maybe understand if I joined a week before the bonuses.
Don't waste your time there. Find a job that actually pays people instead of making excuses to pinch a few pennies.
leave it and never look back
if I was someone that they may be pleased to have on their team they would manage to pull some strings to even give me maybe 50-75% of an expected normal bonus
and you won't leave necessarily because what they say it's a joke, but because of the lack of sincerity, for I think that the real reason why they couldn't accommodate even a small bonus for you is because of market conditions (not enough revenue) instead of what they may say
Not justifying their actions, but I'd have to imagine a lot of these small (no-name especially) boutiques are struggling right now with fee generation and probably cannot afford to pay everyone their "typical" comp
It sucks because they are trying to build out a new industry, and I came from a BB in that industry and we have actually won a pitch in that industry. The boss has had nothing but great things to say to me and has sent me one off emails complementing my professionalism with clients, so I guess that kind of makes all this feel even more like a gut punch.
Honestly, you should have asked more clearly. So next time do that.
But right now, damage is done your options are:
I am a little curious how the the leveraging the situation would work.
Just leave. If they do not generate enough in fees to pay a stub bonus, they may not be able to afford employee wages.
However, if you just joined for 3-4 months, they may feel it is not justified to give you a performance based bonus when they are uncertain what your performance is like.
Does your group close many deals?
Dam wtf. When I joined my offcycle banking stint, I was 1.5 months after oncycle and still received full.
Not only should you look further into the policy like another commenter mentioned, but you should also see if you'll be compensated for the stub + full annual amount in the next bonus cycle.
Policy won't help him. The ultimate policy is they can do whatever they want, including fire you on the spot.
No firm with a clue would've done this. He should be 100% focused on the exits.
name the bank
I would like too, but honestly, I don't want people to figure out who I am. If I leave, then I will post it.
This is a lesson in getting things in writing....
NEVER take something verbal when it comes to your money or career. It's not worth anything.
Also a lesson in assuming things. Always try to seek clarity.
Very much agree, I guess this is a lesson not only for me but all the younglings on here.
Just leave. No point trying to clarify etc. The conclusion will not be "Oh silly me - overlooked a calendar date so here's your bonus". They will just come up with endless politically correct bs
Besides this bonus incident, how do you feel about the position, work, people, and the firm in general? If all else is good, perhaps it is truly a misunderstanding and you can give it another year to see if the bonus is up to expectations. With the finance sector softening and layoffs common, it may not be easy to quickly transition to another job (and even if you do, you likely won't be negotiating from a position of strength). Good luck!
I am pretty iffy about this firm as a whole. There was a certain element of the WLB that was attractive at this firm, and thus was the reason for joining. The bonus thing is just a bad taste in my mouth, but I feel like this firm just doesn't really want to get up to speed on how banking works. I have interned at a couple of small shops, so I do kind of know what a good MM boutique looks like and can confirm that this is not a good one.
If this isn't the right firm for you, bonus or not, you seem to have made up your mind you are moving on. Then just stay there for the paycheck until you have another opportunity is locked up. Good luck.
They screwed you. Get a BATNA to negotiate a bonus
Are you an associate? I lateraled last year to a BB and got ~35k as an A1 after ~3 months on the desk. Felt low but considering I had a paid break between jobs + one-off bonus I cut my losses.
You should look to leave. They should have at least given you a token bonus
Yes, I signed on as an associate.
u might want to become a stripper. all cash bonuses this year
Did you have any feedback or reviews on performance?
How much revenue has the group made since you joined?
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