Ranking Analysts -- Bonuses/Bucket System

deadpool123's picture
Rank: Chimp | 12

Can someone explain a little bit about how the bucket system for bonuses work? How are bonuses usually allocated to 1st/2nd year IBD analysts? And usually, how difficult is it to make it into the top group?

Thanks, any response is appreciated!

Comments (38)

Jun 10, 2016

Also interested... bump

Jun 11, 2016

Typically 5 buckets, with top 10% or fewer getting top, another 10% or so getting 2nd, the vast majority getting middle (60-70%) and most of the remainder getting 4th. The last bucket (maybe $5-10k) is reserved for a few people that they want to send a clear message to. These are across the whole bank and certain groups that had really good or bad years may be allocated additional / fewer top / bottom bucket slots

Array

    • 1
Nov 5, 2016
Slash-Finance:

Typically 5 buckets, with top 10% or fewer getting top, another 10% or so getting 2nd, the vast majority getting middle (60-70%) and most of the remainder getting 4th. The last bucket (maybe $5-10k) is reserved for a few people that they want to send a clear message to. These are across the whole bank and certain groups that had really good or bad years may be allocated additional / fewer top / bottom bucket slots

Not me, but looking through the threads on first year bonuses.

If someone was in the last bucket and they didn't like the message, is there still time to turn it around and have a career with the company? Or have they already written you off and you should jump asap?

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Nov 9, 2016

If that were me, I'd start planning out next steps. If you're still on the 2 year analyst program, then decisions about who is getting a third year/associate role will be made midway through your second year, so there's just not a lot of time to turn it around and exceed those who have been doing well all along.

Nov 5, 2016

Read the book "Monkey Business".

It's more or less a complete shitshow and a lot of luck.

Nov 6, 2016

The specifics depend on the bank. However, they all have the same idea: there are top performers (10%), above average/average/below average (80% altogether) and the bottom ranked guys (10%). If times are tough, they let go of the bottom 10%.
Getting into the top bucket depends largely on quickly you can impress the right people to get on the right deals.

Nov 6, 2016

The underappreciated element is that making top bucket requires more work, let's say 10 hours a week on average. Multiplied by 50 weeks that's an extra 500 hours. All to have a chance (not guaranteed) of making an extra $10k or $5k after taxes. So you're working for $10 an hour.

So looking for top bucket just for monetary reasons never made sense to me. If your senior guys are willing to go to bat for the best performers maybe that changes the equation.

Nov 6, 2016

I would think if you're driven to get top bucket you are either looking for 1) exceptional recommendation by bosses for exits or 2) possibility for early promotion

Best Response
Nov 9, 2016

I have to disagree here, it's less how hard you worked, everyone is expected to be working their a* off, if you don't you go straight to the bottom bucket. The MD/Ds also don't care/know how much hours you're putting in each week, it's a lot more about your visibility on the platform across the senior guys (or at least that's the case at my BB)

If you work extra hard for 1 director (say your coverage boss), you'll get ranked lower than if you showed you did a good job for 3 or 4 senior guys. At the year end review, the Ds/MDs gather round and go through the list of analysts, if only your direct D says you've done a great job, you'll be average, maybe above average. If your D says you've one a great job AND 3 other D/MD confirm and say how you're a great guy as well, you'll be at the top.

I kept my head down the first year and worked extra hard for my D and got ranked average (nearly quit, I knew I was working much harder than the average). Following year I worked less hard, sucked a bunch Ds and got ranked top

Gotta love sucking those Ds

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Nov 9, 2016

I agree with what you're saying but what @buegie said has a lot of merit too, if you look at it in conjunction to your post: if more senior guys like you and your work, then more guys are gonna ask for you on their deals and you're going to be staffed more, which generally increases work hours.

Nov 9, 2016

20 - 60 - 20 ish

Nov 9, 2016

how do top boutiques do bonus?

Nov 9, 2016

.

Nov 9, 2016

I have heard that some BBs don't let 1st year analysts be in the top bucket. Is this true?

Nov 9, 2016

No, this is not true. Otherwise it wouldn't be called top bucket.

Nov 9, 2016

^do you know why that is the case (my guess would be less voerhead, but I really don't know)?

Nov 9, 2016

Usually its a battle royal...

Nov 9, 2016

very true, I didn't realize this until I got in. Even when top bucket was 60k, most people got nowhere close.

Nov 9, 2016

Within IBD, analyst buckets are reviewed on a person by person basis, not group. Reviews are done class-specific, as in all 1st year analysts are reviewed in one pool while 2nd years in another.

Nov 9, 2016

They are privy to the extent that: (a) you let them know or (b) a reference lets them know. They won't (or shouldn't) just call up your boss or HR without your consent and automatically be allowed to know your performance.

Nov 9, 2016

I'm fairly certain it's against the law for HR to release any information other than the dates you started and left. This could possibly vary by state, but I'm sure it's somehow a federal thing.

Anyways, that doesn't stop the person on the other end of the phone from dropping hints. I knew a lady in HR at a job I had in college and that is what she told me...however, she did say that she would 'help' out the people that called and would basically say one of two things...one being, "Oh, Tina XYZ, we miss her so much, I wish she still worked here...let me get those employment dates for you" or the second being, "Oh, Tom Johnson? Let me get those dates for you" and then she would audible laugh. Technically she didn't say anything she wasn't allowed to but conveyed what type of person they were.

This most likely doesn't apply to you because there would likely have to be a real conversation to explain what bucket you fell in, but I wouldn't put it past a headhunter, that knew an HR person, to get the info.

At any rate, as mentioned above, you are likely going to answer that question for the headhunter. He will either directly ask you or ask how much you made, from which he can probably deduce what bucket you were in.

If you are looking to lie about it, I would say NOT to do it.

Regards

Nov 9, 2016

those in your class

Nov 9, 2016
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Nov 9, 2016
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