Thoughts on Barclays Response to Goldman survey

I work at Barclays and just wanted to post my thoughts about the call we had this week with senior bankers about morale.

First of all, I truly felt like the seniors were merely checking the box for HR on these calls. As analysts came forward with their frustrations, I didn't hear a single solution offered by any of the seniors. Initially, I was optimistic thinking this call could be the catalyst for overdue change. Now, I'm starting to doubt that.

One analyst expressed how they didn't even feel comfortable taking a lunch break most days. Barclays didn't provide laptops or reimburse late night meals during WFH until very recently. Cost cutting at this firm obviously has begun to erode at employee morale. The fact that management used this pandemic as an excuse to cut meal reimbursement for junior bankers during such stressful times is sickening.

In response to these genuine concerns, seniors responded with "this is way above our head." It is sad that Barclays hasn't shown any inclination of improving conditions for analysts. At this point I'm fed up and I know I'm not alone. We have been worked to the bone and analyst / associate bonuses here are consistently lower than other bulge brackets. Multiple coverage groups across the US have lost junior bankers because we get paid so much less than everyone else. Really apparent that we are not valued to the same extent as our counterparts at other banks.

What is it going to take for change to happen? Anyone else in banking feel the same way after these BS calls?

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Comments (115)

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Mar 25, 2021 - 10:29pm

Junior banker at Barclays here. There has been 0 emphasis on WLB and analysts are pulling 90-100+ hour weeks on the regular. This job is really breaking us down and it's tough to see a light at the end of the tunnel...

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Mar 25, 2021 - 10:54pm

I find it surprising that a firm known for its great culture treats their employees so poorly. Can you provide a range of the bonus packages for coverage groups? I would've thought that only GS pays considerably less bonus because of the "GS discount". Subpar bonus, no perks, and sweaty hours?!

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Mar 25, 2021 - 10:58pm

hearing this makes me wonder if I made the right choice taking the Barclays offer over CS 

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Ind
Mar 27, 2021 - 2:41am

Joining Barclays this summer - just want to reiterate for any VPs, MDs, and above who browse this thread that a ton of students and analysts read WSO and take what is on here very seriously, especially when it is not just one-off opinions but recurring themes. It's one thing to work your analysts to the bone, and a whole other to skimp them on comp and purport to be a BB. If comp is below street, I know I and others (especially from targets) will be lateraling to shops like CS that put their money where their mouth is as soon as we get the chance - especially with all the recent posts about how active the lateral job market is.

I think myself and a lot of other students assumed Barclays paid in-line with if not better than the rest of the BBs, especially in coverage. What are we talking all-in for AN1? Lower than $150K? Hold the Big Man accountable.

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  • Intern in IB - Ind
Mar 27, 2021 - 11:18am

Incoming SA here. I definitely had the impression that pay was at least in-line. I second your point about juniors taking these things seriously. I was originally focused on solely getting a return offer, but now starting to think I should explore other opportunities. Obviously, it's not like juniors aren't irreplaceable, but there would be challenges if a bunch of analysts started lateraling away and if top candidates just don't see Barclays in the same light. It's not like GS where some would just go strictly on the name. There doesn't seem to be a clear trade-off of any kind here. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Mar 27, 2021 - 12:09pm

150 was top bucket last year in my group. Unclear on how bonuses will shake out this year, but associates and above were VERY unhappy with bonuses this time around. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Mar 25, 2021 - 11:46pm

Another Barclays analyst here. In one of the groups that's supposed to have better WLB, but it's been pretty awful in the last 9 months. No Barclays policies have really been followed (protected Saturday's, etc.). I think the thing that kills me though is really the pitiful bonus (esp. in my group) and the fact that we know bonuses will be miserable this year again (first year associates in some of the most brutal groups got less then what first year analysts at some EBs would). Barclays literally gave the dinner policy back (months after every other bank) the day before they gave out atrocious bonuses

Bank needs to turn it around otherwise it will go south real fast.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Mar 25, 2021 - 11:51pm

Another second year analyst here, it's just really sad to see that compensation is not up to par even for groups within the bank that are widely considered top-tier. My peers at MM / Regional banks made more than me during my first year by a very sizable margin

Mar 26, 2021 - 10:49am

Guys, I hear you. I've been openly writing posts on LinkedIn and shouting "LOOK AFTER THE ANALYSTS" and I have a network full of MDs and heads of businesses there. Ironically, I published a post a week before this survey came out. You have to understand though that as long as there is a plethora of people who are more than willing to do these hours for the same or less money, banks are not going to do anything about this issue. It's classic labour economics.

And I understand that it's not easy for you to be the "hero" (even the quotes can't save the use of this word here but anyway) in your team who will say "we're overworked, Saturday off for everyone etc." in a business where there is a long tradition of suck-it-up and drive on and there are people who consider 100+ hr weeks to be a badge of honour. Tell me if I'm wrong but I think there are people who romanticize their stress in this industry. Going back to the previous point, it's fucking tough for some of you to deviate from a Nash equilibrium and "change the culture" when you know very well that everyone has been playing Nash for ages and will continue to do so both in your microcosmos, the people you know, your team, and in a bigger context. It's fucked up.

And what drives you nuts is not the hours... the real problem is that you are not valued, the lack of respect, the fact that they won't sit down with you to see how they can make you feel happier so that you make them happier... 

One thing for sure, there is responsibility from both sides and for things to change, both sides have to do something...

Funniest
Mar 27, 2021 - 1:18pm

angelosgeorgakis

Guys, I hear you. I've been openly writing posts on LinkedIn and shouting "LOOK AFTER THE ANALYSTS" and I have a network full of MDs and heads of businesses there. Ironically, I published a post a week before this survey came out. You have to understand though that as long as there is a plethora of people who are more than willing to do these hours for the same or less money, banks are not going to do anything about this issue. It's classic labour economics.

And I understand that it's not easy for you to be the "hero" (even the quotes can't save the use of this word here but anyway) in your team who will say "we're overworked, Saturday off for everyone etc." in a business where there is a long tradition of suck-it-up and drive on and there are people who consider 100+ hr weeks to be a badge of honour. Tell me if I'm wrong but I think there are people who romanticize their stress in this industry. Going back to the previous point, it's fucking tough for some of you to deviate from a Nash equilibrium and "change the culture" when you know very well that everyone has been playing Nash for ages and will continue to do so both in your microcosmos, the people you know, your team, and in a bigger context. It's fucked up.

And what drives you nuts is not the hours... the real problem is that you are not valued, the lack of respect, the fact that they won't sit down with you to see how they can make you feel happier so that you make them happier... 

One thing for sure, there is responsibility from both sides and for things to change, both sides have to do something...

Buddy nobody cares fuck off with your linkedin bullshit. What are you even angling for here? Life coach consultant business?

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Ind
Mar 27, 2021 - 11:17pm

Hey man, 

I knew this would happen at some point - that everyone would rebel against you even though you're trying your best to understand us. I also know you understand that the IB industry is going through a lot right now and people may need help trying to figure out next steps. However, you are also dealing with type A and ambitious individuals in one of the top jobs in a business career who would never spend $500/hour on professional coaching as you state on your website (https://angelosgeorgakis.com/coaching/). I appreciate the effort that you are making in trying to understand us but for your own benefit, considering how hardcore people can be on this site, I recommend you target a different audience. 

Tech workers are more likely to bite. With tech companies offering mental health and wellness stipends even before the pandemic, I can see burnt out or troubled software engineers trying out your services for free with their stipends. 

Again, I don't want this to come across the wrong way, but I think you're wasting your time trying to engage with us. Trust me, I wouldn't be surprised if you became some sort of professional coach that some tech company invites for a weekly talk on burn out. Best of luck!

Mar 27, 2021 - 12:15pm

The problem is:

the MDs and Directirs did their junior years at a time when there were more deals and hence more revenue for the firm. They were putting in hours too but they weren't putting insane hours on stupid unrealistic pitches which anyone with a functioning brain can tell that they will never come to pass. The analysts and associates today are putting as much if not more hours than these clowns did but they are not being compensated the same way.

the MDs don't realize that bonuses today don't even compare to the 90s and 2000s.

also there's more competition and hence banks are doing absolutely ridiculous pitches. 
 

in on 3 live deals right now and those on their own are hell but then on top of that I'm on 2-3 pitches ; most of which make no sense but hardo VPs put in hours upon hours on them in the hope that this will be equivalent of sucking a MDs dick. And this just gets the juniors working life into inhumanw territory 

if I was just working on my deals I'd have a 75-80 hours week. That's bad but you still can get some downtime. However with insane senseless pitches in regularly hitting 100

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May 24, 2021 - 10:53pm

At a time where everything wasn't supposed to be instant or ASAP. you can't compare. it was a very different world back in the 90s to now. You could leave for lunch and no have to worry about anything.

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  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Mar 27, 2021 - 2:27pm

The "way above our head" attitude for MD's is absolutely ridiculous. Bringing in millions in fees and they think they can't stand up for their team is BS. I do not believe for a second that a rainmaker MD doesn't have the pull to stand up for their analysts for better comp.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Mar 27, 2021 - 4:26pm

1st year in coverage. A lot of attrition from the AS to director level across groups. If management doesn't throw us a bone or pull some WLB plan together, then August (when analysts get paid) is going to kill some groups. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Mar 27, 2021 - 6:01pm

Analyst in one of the more notoriously worked groups at Barclays. Too be honest, I knew what I was getting myself into in terms of WLB, but after seeing what associates got as a bonus, I'm pretty shocked. I'm talking less than 100k bonuses as a first year (not stub).

if they screws analysts over as well, it's going to be mayhem. We accept the fact that we will get worked, but pay us our fucking money. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Mar 27, 2021 - 10:18pm

Second year analyst here - can confirm our bonuses at Barclays are lower than BAML / CS / UBS. Analysts I know at BAML got 80k bonuses while top bucket here is capped at 60k for most groups...

Most Helpful
  • Research Analyst in HF - EquityHedge
Mar 28, 2021 - 10:53am

I recently left Barclays M&A after being promoted to Associate and agree that comp this year was especially bad. I wasn't top of the top but was told I was above the midpoint each year for comp:

An1: $85k base + $57k Bonus + $10k Relo + $5k signing

An2: $90k base + $74k Bonus 

An3 (6mo Stub): $95k base + $57.5k bonus (Bonus was ~120% of earned salary since it was only for half of the year)

I was initially pretty happy with the number I got as an An3, but soon realized my MD thought he was paying me for a full year...I know anecdotally that A2A promotes in my group typically made $100k-$110k bonuses as an An3 when it used to be a full year bonus. This all said, I also noticed that Barclays HR was extremely aggressive when I put in my notice and clearly aren't doing anything to help the situation:

1. Given COVID, it is now impossible to speak to HR on the phone (not that I ever spoke with HR while I was working in person) and there are no more exit interviews

2. They tried to claw back my A2A raise for the limited time I worked as an Associate and did so without notifying me; I was digging through my benefits before leaving and realized they retroactively reduced my base salary

3. HR stalled in giving out the A2A vacation allotment (20 days), which, up until this year, was given out the day you were promoted and was immediately vesting

4. From my conversations with a few MDs, I found out HR is trying to force Analyst leavers to be released immediately so they don't have to pay out the two weeks notice rather than letting the analysts transition off their projects

Up until this year, I was pro-Barclays and recommended it to peers / college students given the culture and high internship offer rates, but I'm not sure I can continue to do so given the way this last year has unfolded.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Mar 28, 2021 - 1:45pm

Can confirm that An1 and An2 comp was down significantly post-COVID last summer

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Mar 28, 2021 - 9:09pm

They do, it's officially called the "Exclusive Sales" group. They work on sell-slide mandates-- could be solo on smaller deals or support coverage groups in processes. 

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Mar 29, 2021 - 3:27pm

Incoming Barclays SA here, lol this is a lot to take in, but I pretty much took Barclays because everything I was told and I'd heard was about how the culture was strong and the pay was in-line with all the other BBs. I could've signed with Credit Suisse or Bank of America, and I'm genuinely thinking that I might regret my decision which I really didn't think would happen... Is it really that bad analysts/associates? I had no idea top bucket was $150k, I was thinking at least closer to $170k or something. This is a bit disappointing to hear, less the pay and more about the supportive and affable culture that I've heard Barclays has all-around. Can anyone expand on this whole situation?

  • Works at Barclays Capital
Mar 29, 2021 - 9:35pm

Pay is lower than street, culture is still better than street.

Culture of course is still group specific and your experience will vary based on your own fit, but I still believe in our culture. I do think Covid and WFH is making everyone depressed and it's particularly hit us hard, where we had tighter knit cultures in the office before. Getting paid less than street for WFH when you can't feel the culture or comradery is not great, but I think it will get better later this year.

  • Works at Barclays Capital
Mar 30, 2021 - 1:59pm

Lol im part of a smaller team within DCM and we are CAPPED at 15% bonus. Was told this gig was a 50-60hr time commitment when I signed. Now im averaging 80 with occasional 90s. ASO1 with all in comp ~$150k. My director discussed raising overall team comp but cant help but feel extremely taken advantage off. Thinking about leaving considering the market is so hot right now. 

Mar 31, 2021 - 11:05pm

I don't know what to say other than I feel for you guys. Analyst/Associate life wasn't a breeze for me with ~80hr weeks on average and zero breaks in 4 years, peaking at about 130 hours, but at least there were ebbs and flows. I would say come join the other side, but it's so crowded these days it would be impossible to take you all. I think this is going to have real implications for pe recruiting in a couple of years. Better hire your juniors now and keep em happy. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 1, 2021 - 6:00pm

I mean college students would be the kind of people to care, I think it's not that unreasonable

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Apr 1, 2021 - 6:01pm

$3300 (pre-tax, I know) isn't immaterial to a lot of people, myself included. Obviously going to try and sort something else to do in that time to compensate for it, but would be frustrating nonetheless. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Apr 1, 2021 - 6:05pm

How are they cutting summer comp? Current Barclays employee so doesn't affect me, just wondering. Did they decrease the base pay rate or announce one less week or something?

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Apr 2, 2021 - 3:17am

I absolutely railed against everyone and everything in that survey and I know the other analysts in my group did too. Need to hit critical mass for them to do anything about it, like they did with WFH meals after the last survey.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Apr 2, 2021 - 11:06pm

Srsly y'all if we all threaten to leave in under 6 months.... they'll respond accordingly. 

  • Assist. VP in IB - Ind
Apr 11, 2021 - 8:03pm

How fucked was that memo last week? So much loose shit - we're gonna ask MDs to make shorter books, protecting Saturdays that were already protected, etc

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Apr 11, 2021 - 8:10pm

Protected Saturdays have always been BS. Only "protected" unless it's live deal work... which there almost always is, so in reality Saturdays aren't protected at all.

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