Finance

UBS to pay analysts a $40k promotion bonus as junior talent war increases

UBS is paying its junior bankers a one-off bonus of $40,000, nearly double some of its rivals, as investment banks hike pay and perks to staff off an exodus of talent. 

The Swiss bank is set to pay the bonus on top of regular salary increases next month, according to a person familiar with the matter. The figure is double the $20,000 its local rival Credit Suisse paid its juniors as a one-off ‘lifestyle’ bonus, and ups the ante during a period of frantic recruitment for analysts and associates amid record dealflow.

Investment banks have been rolling out pay rises and special bonuses, as well as overhauling working practices, for their junior bankers as burnout and threats of defection have increased throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

A leaked presentation by a group of 13 Goldman Sachs analysts in March outlining 100-hour weeks and declining mental health has prompted renewed soul-searching from the industry, which demands a brutal regime for its juniors. Headline-grabbing salary hikes and bonuses have been complemented by reinforcement of policies dictating weekends off, and a focus on cutting back on unnecessary or last-minute work.

READ UBS starts new bonus for juniors as banks look to combat burnout

Financial News reported UBS’s plans to introduce a new promotion bonus for its analysts in April. Bloomberg first reported the $40,000 figure.

Most major investment banks including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, HSBC, Lazard, Jefferies and UBS have ramped up junior recruitment as deal activity has hit record levels in the first quarter.

JPMorgan is hiring around 190 analysts and associates, FN reported, while HSBC has increased pay for its juniors as part of a series of measures aimed at reducing stress.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Paul Clarke

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