Wells Fargo bonuses down by 30%?!

lapike's picture
lapike - Certified Professional
Rank: Neanderthal | banana points 2,067

Story from NYT Dealbreaker: Bonus Watch '19: Carnage At The Stagecoach

It appears that bonuses are being handed out at Wells Fargo, and judging from our email inbox, America's least-trusted bank is now pretty widely hated by the people who still work there.

According to one tipster, "Wells Fargo bonuses released today. Associates and up. Down 30% across the board. Even hurting stub associates."

Says a second, "Bonuses announced here at WF. They are screwing us almost as bad as our clients. 30% drop. Morale in the shitter."

And yet a third puts it even more stark picture. "Absolute bonus carnage over here at the Stagecoach. Down 10-30% based on seniority. People shocked to see they also skimmed the new associates as well."

Any truth to this story? Seems crazy.

Comments (60)

Mar 1, 2019

.

GunningForPortfolioManager

    • 1
Mar 1, 2019

I've been texting friends who are there. One said that on the annual results call, the CEO stated "After a year like this one, we don't deserve to have a bonus pool at all."

    • 2
Mar 1, 2019

Never gets old. Find some pocket of the organization that did something bad/money-losing/criminal and use it as a pretext to slash bonuses for everyone else.

Mar 1, 2019

.

GunningForPortfolioManager

Mar 2, 2019

Generally true. Can't speak for Markets (S&T and CM), but in IB down 15-30%, often based on seniority. More senior got a higher % cut. Obv not true in every individual case, but as a general rule, yes. I work at Wells in IB, have been there for several years. People who lived through the crisis will say - worst year since 2008.

    • 3
Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

Mar 2, 2019

Have friends that work at Wells, they told me that bonus were cut across the board even stubs for Analyst and Associates.

    • 1
Mar 6, 2019

In IB? What did analyst stub get cut to?

Mar 6, 2019

I got nothing (stub would've been only for a couple months anyways) and neither did my other analyst who was here all year. Niche product market but under CIB umbrella. I know a couple other analysts that got stubs for a couple thousand. I'm not sure what the M&A groups look like for bonuses at the Analyst/Associate level.

Mar 2, 2019

Had drinks with my salesperson from Wells and was told they're expecting 2008 level bad (FI S&T)

    • 1
Mar 2, 2019

Is there any chance WF becomes a buyout candidate? I haven't thought about this in any detail, but I feel that they could become a behemoth if they merged with another bank that has competent management.

Most Helpful
Mar 4, 2019

Actually, only possible under a single scenario. Any financial institution with over 10% of total deposits cannot acquire another bank without special permission by the OCC/FDIC.

That's how WF bought Wachovia in the first place. Considering the credit culture and low L/D ratios, it is nearly impossible.

    • 8
Mar 2, 2019

Huh, I didn't know that. Financial institutions are a blind spot for me.

+1

Mar 4, 2019

Magic 8 ball prediction: Regional bank picks off WF Securities

    • 5
Mar 10, 2019

So is Sun Trust and BB&T below the 10% level? Genuinely curious as I didn't know that either.

Mar 9, 2019

At WF current size; there is little to zero chance a buyout is feasible. Wells has one of the largest balance sheets on the planet. A buyout is too complicated and expensive to be realistic

Mar 1, 2019

it's possible, they are in pretty bad shape from what i have been reading in the news lately

GunningForPortfolioManager

    • 1
Mar 2, 2019

Spoke to my friend who works in IB at Wells Fargo and he confirmed this. Bonuses are way down and morale is even lower.

    • 1
    • 1
Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

Mar 6, 2019

There are two analysts in my group. Neither got bonuses. We're a niche product market but still, yeah, WF.

Mar 1, 2019

...No bonus?! Holy fuck.

Mar 4, 2019

Lol, as if people needed another reason to hate Wells Fargo. Two negatives don't make a positive in this equation.

    • 1
Mar 6, 2019

And what is the typical bonus for an analyst in your group? Analyst's at Wells don't get stub bonus's (at least in IB) and come after a full year of work (in the summer) based off information from connections who have been there for over a year and from ones that are in their first year currently.

Pretty sure there's a lot of misinformation in this thread up to this point. Highly doubt most analyst's (in IB) are getting affected by the cuts mentioned in the article, bonus numbers I heard that were given in the summer seemed normal

    • 1
Mar 6, 2019

Textbook example of how to lose your good IB talent

    • 1
Funniest
Mar 6, 2019

if they had any.

    • 11
    • 11
Mar 6, 2019

didn't you just finish your internship haha

    • 1
Mar 6, 2019

This is terrible and very sad for so many people - especially junior bankers down in the trenches working to death and trying to make some money for the first time in their lives. I feel for them...

WFC... wow... we'll take your talent - apparently you don't want it.

    • 5
Mar 6, 2019

Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope.

    • 4
Mar 1, 2019

Already had some people reach out to me. Fun times...

Mar 6, 2019

They are down by 100% in some instances.

    • 1
Mar 6, 2019

Why is this happening? Is this because of the asset growth cap?

Financials look fine.

    • 1
Mar 1, 2019

Apparently DB has been handing out some goose eggs, too.

    • 1
    • 1
Mar 8, 2019

Can anyone from M&A/LevFin verify what bonuses were? I heard communication day was last week for MD's down to Associates. Analysts don't hear word until August or so.

Mar 8, 2019

You brats should be grateful that you have jobs. Stop bitching, ain't nothing worse than a banker bitch complaining about not being overpaid enough.

    • 4
    • 33
Mar 8, 2019

This comment should go over well......

    • 2
Mar 9, 2019

Out of MS. So throwing some your way

Mar 8, 2019

Currently at Wells. Definitely feel bad for the analysts and associates who's bonuses were cut. Less so for the more senior folks who were supposed to bring in deals but didn't. The Investment Banks's revenues were down 20% and lost market share. Don't think we did a single material M&A transaction bank wide two years running. Unlike in previous years, this years bonuses were geared towards merit...imagine being an M&A banker getting a full bonus despite not doing anything for two years.

Jsantagata may be a troll but he does have a point. We have too many ppl for the limited revenues being brought in...need to rightsize.

    • 4
Mar 9, 2019

So I'll be honest, I know little about WF's deal flow. If what you said is true, then wouldn't it be smarter to actually just fire non-performers and keep paying everyone else? Otherwise, the talent will leave and they will still be stuck with those that should be let go. Is there some logic that I'm missing with their approach?

Mar 9, 2019

So if we're concerned about employee morale generally, what do you think would look better: 30% bonus cut or laying off like 10% of your staff?

Just as a smell test though, if IB revenues are down 20%, doesn't a 30% bonus cut on average sound about right given the fact that most of the expenses in IB are going to be fixed (other than the obvious bonuses)?

Mar 12, 2019

Ditto on this strange concept. Probably comes from a positive minded place of "let's all be on one team working towards the same goal", but Wells kind of bungled this and for some reason attached it to incentive comp.

Mar 8, 2019

Yeah doesn't make sense, does it? A quick example, so when I worked in Silicon Valley, a number of TMT commercial bankers were on my floor...you know, the folks that went after your startups for VC capital deposits and such. Uber, Tesla etc. The TMT guys were consistently crushing their goals...100%+ over target 3-4 years running. BUT, because they were in the same umbrella Corporate banking group as the oil and gas guys who wayyyy overreached pre-2014 and were hemorrhaging losses when crude dropped, everyone in corporate banking, including the TMT guys, were getting half of their expected bonus.

After a couple of years of this, everyone good enough left and the ones that remained, well...

    • 1
Mar 9, 2019

That will probably happen too..

Mar 9, 2019

First year at Wells, and I enjoy working here. I don't know what the typical bonus looks like, but I received a 5% bonus. It's not amazing, but it's better than nothing. I work in MMB.

Mar 9, 2019

Ouch. Kids at F500 have bigger bonuses than WF.

    • 1
Mar 9, 2019

He's talking about commercial lending not the IB arm.

Mar 11, 2019

The unfortunate fact is whether or not this is exactly accurate or not, generally speaking this is the future of the industry. On the S&T side you will need drastically less people and older folks are clinging as long as they can and paying themselves before others. In banking, rising rates over time will make it more difficult for the lower credit worthy companies to get financing and therefore push down M&A, refinancing, etc and drive less revenue to that department. It's a very mature industry ripe for streamlining and this is long overdue.... you're "lucky" if you're still around getting bagel'd rather than fired with often limited transferable skill sets. I find it very interesting Wall Street has been championing how smart they are by making things more efficient, reducing cost, identifying synergies, and cutting the fat... yet it couldn't do it within its own companies for so long.

    • 1
Mar 9, 2019

You work in S&T and don't know shit about M&A.

Rising rates won't prevent or deter it, things are cyclical and bottom tier, overlevered companies will get picked off.

Mar 14, 2019

Lol tf you mean by rising rates will deter m&a

Rates right now are still pretty much all time low, add another 200bps and we'll still be low

Mar 11, 2019

The problem is they have a lot of legacy VPs and Directors who do nothing and are not good at their job taking a lot of the pay. For years Wells hadn't fired anyone and even in IB it's unbelievably difficult, talk about deadweight. I heard this year was different and there would be some firings and 0 bonus handed out.

Mar 6, 2019

They WIPED quite a few management level people in my arm (PubFin) when they brought in the new head. We'll see how the year goes.

Mar 13, 2019

It is amazing that there are otherwise rational people who still think they can will away the law of supply and demand. You cannot tell talented investment bankers that they should work for less money than they could make somewhere else because some idiot in a totally different business line did something stupid and "we're all in this together" or whatever.

Anyone who thinks bankers are motivated not with money but by making their organization more compliant (oh yay...) should run the idea by John Cryan or Antony Jenkins, both of whom have plenty of time on their hands for having had the same delusion.

    • 2
Mar 15, 2019

HA! So true. I once had a startup try and lure me out of PE saying, "wouldn't it be nice to change the world." I said sure, compensate me for my risk and they responded saying "I'm greedy". People have a hard time understanding we live in a capitalist society where money talks and good talent costs.