Bonus When Leaving Firm - Boutiques

mnaguy's picture
Rank: Chimp | 8

I was hoping to get some insight on standard industry practices in regard to bonuses being paid to junior staff leaving a firm. If someone were to stop working on 12/31/10 (haven given notice a month prior), and assuming calendar year-end bonus payments, would the bank typically pay them a 2010 bonus, or is it tough luck. To reiterate this question is posed from the perspective of a boutique platform, not MM or BB.

Thanks in advance for the feedback.

Comments (13)

Nov 10, 2010

Never leave before the check clears

Nov 10, 2010

Yup, +1 SB for firebi.

Nov 10, 2010

Your boutique might do it differently, but at 99% of employers out there, you need to actually be working the day that they give out bonuses.

Nov 10, 2010

Yeah. It doesn't make any sense whatsoever from an accounting perspective- since you can forfeit an accrued bonus you've already earned for a previous period, but this is a funky industry and it's not in your employer's best interests to make job transfers... efficient.

Also best to stay mum about a departure until AFTER bonus time. I actually knew one guy who would ALWAYS have offers lined up just IN CASE he wanted to protest his bonus. Naturally his manager didn't like that very much.

Nov 10, 2010

Thanks for the feedback guys - very helpful.

My issue is that an offer letter I have has a start date for the second week of January 2011 (non-negotiable) and assuming I give at least two weeks notice, my notice will be delivered before 2010 bonuses are decided upon/issued. My plan is to work through the end of year (last day 12/31) in my current position, but was wondering if it is typical for the bank to not pay you your bonus even though you worked the full year. Common sense would suggest that you worked the entire year and thus earned the bonus, but as IlliniProgrammer mentioned this is banking.

Anyone that has had a similar experience or has insight it would be appreciated.

Nov 10, 2010

Is this your first year? Do you know when bonuses are actually paid out? I only have experience at big banks, but the policies have always been that you must be employed through the date of actual bonus payment. Are you moving to a PE? If so, I personally would reccomend burning the bridge and only giving notice after getting paid ( assuming this is a legit IB bonus, ie don't do this for 10k).

Nov 10, 2010

How good is the offer relative to your current position.

Call them back up and explain. See if they're either willing to wait two months or cover your bonus.

Nov 10, 2010
IlliniProgrammer:

How good is the offer relative to your current position.

Call them back up and explain. See if they're either willing to wait two months or cover your bonus.

Agreed. You can be almost certain that by leaving in mid-January, you'll forgo your entire year's bonus unless your current employer is extremely honorable (unlikely) - they'll have no reason but pure altruism to pay you. The other shop will understand the position they're putting you in, because I'm sure they work the same way. Ask them to either push back your start date or cover the bonus. Don't say anything to your current employer until the check clears.

Nov 10, 2010

Yeah, this is a move into pe so unlikely they will cover the bonus.

It sounds like the only option is to either move the start date or hope for the best in terms of the employer paying the bonus. Thanks again.

Nov 11, 2010
mnaguy:

Yeah, this is a move into pe so unlikely they will cover the bonus.

It sounds like the only option is to either move the start date or hope for the best in terms of the employer paying the bonus. Thanks again.

The only thing you have going for you is that it's a boutique and they may just decide to pay you want you are owed. The downside is, that isn't very common in the industry and that money will go into another guy's pocket if it isn't going into yours...so people might be motivated to be shady about the whole thing. Good luck.

Regards

Nov 11, 2010

Well, when I left my prior bank before the year end bonus came around, I negotiated with my new firm to get higher signing bonus to make up for the forgone yr end bonus

Nov 11, 2010

Do you have any accrued vacation? I think you could tell them you're quitting the day before you start the new job (presumably once the check has cleared). If they complain about needing to give two weeks notice tell them your last day of employment will be in two weeks and that you'll be in Tahiti until then.

Nov 11, 2010
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