Morgan Stanley Analysts Reportedly Walk Out After Receiving Low Bonuses

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Can anyone here confirm this? Dealbreaker is reporting that some Morgan Stanley analysts, upon learning that their bonuses were far "below street" walked out in anger.

Morgan Stanley announced bonuses today. Associates on upward are satisfied. Analysts are universally furious, with total compensation in some cases being $20k below street. For 2nd years making $90k base, buckets were as follows:

$58k (less than one per group)
$48k (very few)
$43k (average, probably 70%+ of analysts)
$38k
$10-15k (obvious worst performers)

Considering that street seems to be $60k bonus for middle bucket (up to $75k for top) analysts are all very upset and there were reports that several walked out immediately after getting their numbers.

Source: http://dealbreaker.com/2016/01/bonus-watch-16-morg...

Gotta love 22 year olds getting pissed off about making $130,000 a year.

Comments (58)

Jan 15, 2016

In NYC I'd be pissed only make $130,000 a year when I was expecting closer to $155,000.

That's like making $60,000 in Dallas when you expected a solid $90,000.

Doesn't seem like a big difference but when you are bank on those bonuses to pay off loans or put downpayments on homes or cars that $25,000 can be a big difference.

"It is better to have a friendship based on business, than a business based on friendship." - Rockefeller.

"Live fast, die hard. Leave a good looking body." - Navy SEAL

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Jan 15, 2016

Well according to the article, it's only $20k below street, which is like $12k after tax. Is it a meaningful amount of money? Sure, but I'm not sure how life changing it is for a bunch of 23 y/o analysts.

Jan 15, 2016

Its 33% less.

If you have 33% less sex a year would you be disappointed?
If you had a 33% cut on your base compensation would you be disappointed?

Its like a sales person who was more or less led on to believe that they would get (x) commission and then ended up being fucked and getting (y) commission.

Analysts work hard for their bonuses. And from what I know view the bonus as why they work so hard. So if you are led on and then don't get it. You're going to be pissed off (hopefully).

"It is better to have a friendship based on business, than a business based on friendship." - Rockefeller.

"Live fast, die hard. Leave a good looking body." - Navy SEAL

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Jan 20, 2016

Thanks for the after tax calculation, vry helpful

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  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Jan 28, 2016

Most analyst don't know crap about investing

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Jan 15, 2016

lol at MS for pulling a bait and switch on those who thought that they would keep bonuses constant while increasing base pay

Jan 15, 2016

Basically what this guy above me said. I'd have been less sympathetic for literally anyone other than the analysts.

Jan 15, 2016

Curious as to if these new analyst bonus levels are the new norm across all banks (to compensate for the base salary hike from 70k to 85k) or if this is just an MS thing...

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Jan 15, 2016

Kanye famously said "I got a problem with spending before I get it." I only just left my IB post last August, but I received a great piece of financial advice from a VP I was close with. Bonuses aren't good until the cash hits your account. Therefore, I hope none of these analysts put themselves in a unfavorable financial position (credit cards, etc.) expecting a certain windfall to provide relief only to find out the comp isn't what they anticipated.

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Jan 15, 2016

Lol at anyone actually believing an unconfirmed rumor from DealBreaker of all places. Haven't we been through this before?

Doesn't anyone remember the super dramatic titled post "Is Perella Wienberg Dying?" that said bonuses there were terrible or non existent and a bunch of partners had walked out, until they corrected the article when a spokesperson at Perella said they had an awesome year and that the bonuses would reflect it?

People are more gossipy around these forums than a bunch of old ladies.

  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Jan 15, 2016

Ok a few observations

1) The comment about you don't feel bad for anyone except analysts. There are plenty of lazy underperforming analysts. Associates and VPs, despite what you believe, work quite hard. They have pressure from above and below ... while analysts do have to work hard but there's less accountability and pressure in other senses

2) MS has for a couple years taken the barbell approach as I hear. Paying top performers well and bottom performers badly and realigning the benchmarks

3) This is a rumor from deal breaker. Plenty of top analysts I'm sure got rewarded well

The commercial banks like Citi and JPM pay well and we'll see what GS' numbers are like next week

Jan 16, 2016

Y'all are thinking about this all wrong. It's 13% less total comp, but how much less is it in terms of disposable income (especially in NYC)? How much less is it in terms of total savings? I've often heard it said that a good rule-of-thumb for fresh BB analysts is that you spend your salary and save the bonus. A 33% reduction in savings is a shitload!

Jan 15, 2016

That was the logic pre-base hike. Total comp is basically the same. If you upsized your expenses because your base got bumped and were expecting a corresponding bonus hike (and then didn't get it), that's on you for making assumptions.

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Jan 16, 2016

Bonuses are down to compensate for Base Hike. Total Comp unchanged.
End of story.

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Jan 16, 2016

I'd be interested to see if Associate total comp was changed after the MBA base hike.

Jan 16, 2016

Why are bonuses so low if M&A activity was up? Is this consistent across the street?

Jan 19, 2016

Fixed income weighed everything down.

Jan 24, 2016
Shton:

Why are bonuses so low if M&A activity was up? Is this consistent across the street?

Sure, M&A was up, but M&A is only one portion of the fee pool. Overall investment banking fees globally were down in 2015 (yes, I know they were likely up in North America), so there's your answer.

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Jan 16, 2016

Is this just MS or accross the street?

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Jan 16, 2016

Confirmed. Dealbreaker is reporting #'s correctly.

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Jan 16, 2016

Can anyone here who actually works at MS confirm these #s?

Float like a butterfly, sting like the bee.

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Best Response
Jan 16, 2016

Let them walk out. I'd love to take their spot.

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Nov 5, 2016

Lol, that's the funny thing - if you were talented enough to take their spot you'd already be there

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Jan 16, 2016

Total Comp seems about the same overall, with the higher base compensating.

Off topic, but to refer some comments in this thread: Why would anyone need a car as an analyst living in Manhattan?

Jan 16, 2016

Have a few friends who work there and the overall gist I've heard is that total comp was pretty much flat across the board

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Jan 16, 2016

If Morgan Stanley is paying analyst bonuses in Jan now, what happens in the summer when they leave for PE jobs? Do they just not get a stub bonus then, so that essentially analyst who finish 2 year stints in summer only get 1 stub bonus (first Jan after starting, and 1 full year bonus)? Do analysts now try to leave after 1.5 years instead of 2?

Jan 17, 2016
nyknicks7:

If Morgan Stanley is paying analyst bonuses in Jan now, what happens in the summer when they leave for PE jobs? Do they just not get a stub bonus then, so that essentially analyst who finish 2 year stints in summer only get 1 stub bonus (first Jan after starting, and 1 full year bonus)? Do analysts now try to leave after 1.5 years instead of 2?

Why would MS stub bonus them??? They likely won't get paid. Though that depends on their contracts. Current 2nd yrs likely came in under 2 yr contracts so maybe they will? But even then there is nothing in ANY of our contracts saying we WILL receive a bonus. It's all discretionary.

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Jan 16, 2016

They get paid prorated performance bonuses for the last 6 months with a narrower spread than the one full year bonus.

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Jan 17, 2016

Pretty interesting because the rest of the street raised bonuses this past summer YoY and the pay raise had already been implemented for 6+ months.

Anyone have ideas for associate bonus ranges at MS? Citi reported Friday too i believe.

Jan 16, 2016

On the positive side, Starbucks is hiring...

Confirmed

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Jan 16, 2016

I can confirm that this is true as well

Jan 17, 2016

Award season is still in full swing but you are not winning anything for this act, Morgan Stanley analysts. No one believes this outrage as your new comp structure was publically announced a year ago. Feigning righteous indignation as an excuse to quit early when you have buyside gigs lined up is equal to 1/5 stars and on the level of a straight to Life Time airing or Sharknado.

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Jan 19, 2016

+1

Jan 18, 2016

Let's not forget the MS Analysts received $20k last December so all-in comp for '15 is higher YoY.

Jan 19, 2016

From what I've heard, bonuses are down this year for most banks on the street; better performing shops remained flat yoy..I can tell you my bank is employing the "be glad you have a job" attitude when handing out bonuses.

Jan 19, 2016

Other than changing comp structure (base increasing), Is this any indication of pessimistic outlook for deal making in the upcoming year? I thought 2015 was a boom year

Jan 19, 2016

at bb banks the model is heavily dependent on performance of the s&t departments for most of the company's profit...so if they don't do well (and they haven't been) it's unlikely anybody gets paid really well across the company

  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Jan 21, 2016

Analysts? Good luck finding another job

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Jan 22, 2016

The only folks these upset 1st years are hurting are themselves - have fun asking your former associate or VP or whoever for a reference or recommendation. "Ugh yeah, the kid threw a tantrum after he was told his number and walked out..."

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  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Jan 22, 2016

Makes sense when MS cut 25% of fixed income, S&T and IB employees. GS cut 10%. jP had a phenomenal year amongst the bugle bracket. So they need to stop bitching and start producing!

Jan 23, 2016

Did these guys have jobs lined up? Quitting without notice is common enough if you have another gig lined up but looking for a new job while unemployed is hard enough. Also don't you have to be employed on the payment day to get the bonus (giving notice or quitting this would make you ineligible at my shop).

Jan 24, 2016

Is a buyside shop or another bank going to want to hire anyone who throws a tantrum when bonuses don't match their expectations? Unless they plan on leaving finance, walking out is incredibly short sighted.

Jan 24, 2016

You know what sucks? When you get screwed out of 80-90% of your bonus because your firm went bankrupt. You and your team had a great year, but guess what-- there's nobody to pay you.

Unpaid bonus dollars aren't your money, so calm down folks. You can start whining again when bonuses look like 2009.

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Jan 24, 2016

This is amazing. We now have investment bankers who are willing to leave their job for their principles.

The problem is that, apparently, the only principle worth leaving for is money. Unfortunately for these heroes, if they leave their job before the bonus is paid, they lose their bonus.

In the words of Yoda, 'Bullshit, I smell'.

If you don't know who the sucker is at the table, it's you.

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Jan 24, 2016

Let me get this straight. You're a 23 year old earning six figures in NYC, and 1/3 of your bonus was paid out as salary rather than at year-end.

Tell you what, I charge $200/hour for bonus therapy sessions. Hop into my rusty honda, grab a PBR from my six pack. Let's sort this out. Mmm hmmm. Yup. Losing $15K that you were counting on always sucks.

Hey-- there's that shoeshine guy at 47th and Sixth who charges $5 and is always yelling at peoples' shoes. Yup, looks like you need one too. Let's park the car and get a shoeshine. (Don't worry, NYC won't tow it because it's not worth the $325 tow fee).

Hey mr shoeshine guy, have a PBR. My friend here is pissed off he got screwed out of $15K in bonus when they paid it to him in salary. What's your take on alla this?

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Jan 25, 2016

that shoeshine guy is a dick. i always make a point to walk by when i have newly shined shoes.

Feb 14, 2018

-

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Jan 24, 2016

I just got my numbers today. The rusty Honda is getting an upgrade-- the exploded airbags are getting replaced. I am ecstatic that I can now afford this repair.

(No I'm dead serious. Real life IP drives a clunker and it seriously has an exploded airbag and it seriously costs $800 to replace one in a $2000 car and real life IP has been driving it around like that for three months bags hanging out of the dashboard and all because he's cheap)

If you would be able to spend $800 on your car after this bonus, be happy. :)

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Mar 2, 2016

.........

Jan 26, 2016
IlliniProgrammer:

I just got my numbers today. The rusty Honda is getting an upgrade-- the exploded airbags are getting replaced. I am ecstatic that I can now afford this repair.

(No I'm dead serious. Real life IP drives a clunker and it seriously has an exploded airbag and it seriously costs $800 to replace one in a $2000 car and real life IP has been driving it around like that for three months bags hanging out of the dashboard and all because he's cheap)

If you would be able to spend $800 on your car after this bonus, be happy. :)

Is it even legal to drive around with deployed airbags?
That's how they busted Jay and Silent Bob.

Mar 2, 2016

.......

Jan 27, 2016

stfu pussy

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Nov 5, 2016

No surprise there. Heard about this from various places before

Aug 5, 2017

I heard that MS was the 2nd worst performer this year among the bulge brackets