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COMPENSATION
More Fuel for Occupy Wall Streeters?
Posted by David McCann | CFO.com | US
October 14, 2011 5:00 PM ET

Some great timing this week by eFinancialCareers, considering the zeal of the Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York. What better time to learn what kind of bonuses financial-services workers are expecting this year?

Optimism seems to be the natural state of mind for humans, at least the ones inhabiting the financial sector. Even in 2009, amid a tragic economic quagmire for which many blamed said sector (and still do), eFinancialCareers found that 36% of Wall Streeters expected to get a bigger bonus than the previous year, compared with 26% who braced for a decrease.

The next year, with stability (and profitability) returning to financial firms, half of survey respondents predicted a juicier bonus, while just one in five thought the opposite.

This year? Even though 2011 hasn't been as lucrative for the sector as 2010 was, a substantial gap still shows up (41% think they'll get more than last year, 30% less).

Taken together, the research results (this year eFinancialCareers surveyed 1,098 financial-services pros) might paint the sort of picture that would appeal to the Occupy Wall Streeters: one that portrays an entitlement mind-set among bankers and brokers (imagine that!).

I understand that bonuses remain a fundamental part of the salary structure on Wall Street, despite Dodd-Frank's effort to put more emphasis on base pay. And everyone likes an annual raise. Yet, no matter what the financial sector's bottom line, the ones responsible for creating it expect a bigger payout every year.

I'm no banking expert. Maybe that makes sense.

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