Morgan Stanley Analysts Reportedly Walk Out After Receiving Low Bonuses

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-morgan-stanley-has-some-f…

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

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Comments (60)

Jan 15, 2016 - 5:28pm

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 - 5:56pm

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 15, 2016 - 6:40pm

It's 33% less (pretax) bonus, but only like 13% less in terms of total comp after taxes. I'm not saying the analysts can't feel disappointed (shit, I'd be pissed too); i AM saying that you should have at least briefly thought about the possibility that your bank would keep total comp relatively constant when they bumped the base. In fact, there are lots of posts warning about that possibility on WSO, and because these warnings did exist, it really diminishes the amount of sympathy I feel for those who chose to ignore the warnings anyway, come up with their own versions for what they deserved, and then get 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."

Not at all - when did MS ever say that they were going to pay you a $60k bonus as a 2nd year? I guarantee you the offer letter says something along the lines of getting paid a "discretionary bonus". The fact that some MS analyst made the assumption that "discretionary bonus" meant a bonus in line with the street is totally different than MS telling the analyst they pay street bonuses. If nothing else, let this be a lesson - make no assumptions, get everything in writing (yes, I understand that offer letters and contracts for analysts are pretty much all standardized, but there are situations where this won't be true, for example, all you guys looking at buyside jobs).

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Jan 15, 2016 - 6:01pm

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

Jan 15, 2016 - 6:03pm

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 - 6:03pm

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.

Jan 15, 2016 - 6:08pm

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.

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Jan 15, 2016 - 10:33pm

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 - 5:00am

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 16, 2016 - 11:47am

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?

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Jan 16, 2016 - 12:24pm

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 - 2:15pm

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 - 12:42pm
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.
Jan 17, 2016 - 1:05pm

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 - 11:09pm

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.

Jan 22, 2016 - 2:38pm

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
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Jan 22, 2016 - 6:37pm

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 24, 2016 - 10:19pm

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 - 11:03pm

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?

Jan 26, 2016 - 10:13pm

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. :)

Jan 26, 2016 - 11:11pm
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.

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Nov 5, 2016 - 8:47pm

No surprise there. Heard about this from various places before

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

See my Blog & AMA

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