Asset managers likely to get bigger bonuses this year: Consultant

Asset managers on Wall Street may again take home higher bonuses this year as rising stock markets boost inflows into funds, according to a forecast by compensation consulting firm Johnson Associates.

The firm forecast a moderate rise in bonuses across the financial services industry as earnings improve mainly due to significant cost cutting.

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Employees in low-risk, fee-heavy businesses such as asset management may see their bonuses rise by as much as 10 percent, while those in the volatile and risk-heavy business of fixed-income trading may see their bonuses fall by as much as 15 percent, according to the compensation survey.

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The firm also said slow growth in pay was impacting employee morale at investment and commercial banks.

"Improving work environment and culture can help somewhat to counteract potentially lower compensation prospects for the future," Johnson Associates said.

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Big banks are no longer top payers, the firm said, adding asset management and other options provide similar or higher compensation opportunities.

Johnson expects bonuses of top executives at Wall Street firms to be mixed, ranging between a 10 percent drop and a 5 percent rise.

M&A, private equity doing well

Investment bankers working on mergers and private equity employees are likely to have a strong year with their bonuses rising by 5 percent to 15 percent, while those in underwriting may see their bonuses range flat to up 10 percent.

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However, equities traders may see their bonuses shrink by up to 10 percent, given mixed results across products.

Those in prime brokerage will likely see bonuses rise by 5 percent to 10 percent, while bonuses for commercial and retail banking employees may range from flat to up 5 percent.

By Reuters